Monday, 21 December 2009

Down time

Hi all

Sorry for the lack of posts. It has been quite on the gaming & painting front as work is still busy and I need to recharge my batteries a little. Full speed ahead in the New Year though!


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Black Powder Open Day

I haf a great day yesterday at the BP open day at Melstrom Games in Mansfield, hosted by Warlord Games.

I chatted to Rick Priestley about the rules, caught up with Paul and John from Warlord and played through the zulu war scenario from the book twice (once from each side). As with my AWI experiments, the games were fast and fun, and the zulu war "felt" sufficiently different from the AWI to show how mixing and matching the options on the book can be used to tailor the rules to different periods. The napoleonic game that the Perrys brought looked stunning.

The atmosphere all day was brilliant and everyone seemed to have a good time, roll on the next open day.

While recommending rules is a very subjective thing, I can say that BP gives me exactly what I am looking for in a tactical horse and musket game, and I'll be sticking with it. Initially this will be for the AWI, but I wouldn't rule out a small SYW imagination project sometime in the future...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Second foray into Black Powder

Hello again.

We tried a more organised scenario this time. It was based on the battle of Charlotte, 1780. Forces were:

Major Hanger (command value 8. )
British legion cavalry, 2 units each of 9 figures (standard units) Marauders
British legion infantry, 2 units each of 12 figures (small units), skirmish
Light companies, 1 unit of 18 figures (standard unit), First fire, Elite 4+, skirmish

Colonel Davie (command value 8. CinC )
Davie's cavalry, 1 unit of 9 figures (standard unit) Marauders
Davidson's NC Rifles, 1 unit of 12 figures (small unit) Skirmishers, rifled muskets
Colonel Graham (command value 8. )
North Carolina Militia, 3 units of 18 figures (standard units), wavering

The game was played down the length of a 6×4 table. The second quarter of the table contained the town of Charlotte - 4 building block sarranged to form a crossroads. Towards the american baseline were some areas of swamp and woods.

The americans had to set-up in the central 1/3 of the table (i.e. in the town or just behind it). The american aim was to exit more figures off their base egde than the british could exit off the same edge (infantry count 1, cavalry count 2 and officers count as 6) [The values are arrived at because of my element basing of figures, and in practice I count "elements" exited].

The british start off table and arrive in march column in the centre of their base-edge. The americans cannot start to retreat with any units until at least one has taken a hit from shooting or hand-to-hand.

As the british start with a smaller force than the americans, they are forced to get stuck in, as otherwise all units will exit the table and the larger american force will win by default. In time, the victory conditions may get tweaked further to encourage the americans to actually defend as well as retreat.

Despite the small table, moves and ranges were straight from the rulebook, this caused no problems.

The scenario played well for a first attempt, although the small size (5 units per side) meant that my awful luck meant that the British didn't do very well! As BP has been developed mainly for large battles I think there is a need to think carefully when designing scenarios for smaller games. There are plenty of tools in the box to even out extremes of dice luck, and this seems preferrable to adding house rules. This probably means that small scenarios will have a different look/emphasis than those in the rulebook. For my next run through of the scenario I think I will rate the militia as unreliable and the legion cavalry as elite (perhaps 5+) or add an extra commander to the British. The elite characteristic suits my view of the AWI better than the crack/steady approach taken in the rulebook.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

First foray into Black Powder

Got down to the club for the first time in a few weeks, taking my copy of Black Powder and some AWI figures.

I set up a small scenario, a sort of cut-down Camden, to try out the rules with Phil and Martin. Unit stats were cobbled together and based mainly on the Freeman's Farm scenario in the rulebook.

Overall the game played quickly and smoothly, although with inevitable delays for looking things up in the rulebook. I think that these are the way forward for my AWI gaming and look forward to having another bash next week.

First thoughts for revising unit stats are to hinder the H-to-H ability of american rifle units and find further ways to hamstring the militia!


Monday, 16 November 2009

Beavering away

Still here, but busily painting a unit of British napoleonic infantry and photographing each step for an article on the Baccus website.

Hoping to have a game of Black Powder at the club on Wednesday, using my 28mm AWI collection


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Allied army additions

Here are the latest additions to the Waterloo project, at long last.

First is Pack's brigade, containing some fine highlanders of the Black Watch, supported by the Royal Scots.
Here is a closer shot, showing my attempts to paint tartan on the kilts.

Second base is one of Hanoverian Landwehr. The flags are somewhat conjectural and/or simplified. The figures are british in stovepipe for the rank-and-file, with british in belgic shako for the officer and standard bearer
here is a shot of the massed ranks from the rear:

The British have been strengthened by adding the Scots Greys. I have attempted to capture the essence of Lady Butler's painting, so they are not as closely ranked as I normally base cavalry. They should stand out on the battlefield.

Here is the player's eye view (i.e.the rear of the unit)

I have also finished off the Dutch Belgian Heavy Cavalry Division with the additon of the Dutch Carabiniers (using SYW Prussian figures):

and from the side to show some extra detail:

Lastly, the Brunswick cavalry brigade - hussars and uhlans. The former are british hussar figures in shako and the latter are austrian uhlan figures:

I'll start the next batch tomorrow!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Basing up

Hurrah! My Baccus order arrived the other day so I was able to complete my first Hanoverian landwehr.

Tonight I have based up the following:
Halkett's Hanoverian brigade
Pack's British brigade
The Scots Greys
The Dutch carabiniers
The Brunswich Cavalry brigade

Tomorrow I'll begin basing Phil's Russians (batch 2) and start painting the basework on today's stuff.

Next for the big black undercoat brush are some British commanders...


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Progress report

No photos yet as I'm holding back on basing until I have enough stuff for a little production line (including some more Russians for Phil). So far I have finished the figures for Pack's brigade, the Brunswick cavalry brigade and the 1st & 3rd DB Carabiniers.

Next up is a brigade of hanoverian landwehr, for these I am using British infantry in stovepipe shako, but British in belgic shako for command figures (if the post office ever deliver them!).

No painting tommorrow though, I'm off to Cadburyworld


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Painting re-starts

Hurrah. I actually managed to get an hours painting done last night. I returned to the 6mm napoleonic British and got a battalion half-painted. Might get them finished tonight before turning to the Black Watch.

At some point soon I'll do a step-by-step on the waterloo british for Pete Berry's Baccus site. This will slow the painting a bit, but should be worth doing in the end.

I'm also keen to paint up some Dutch Belgians soon too.

Should get in a game at the club last night to test those early C20th rules I'm working on.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Still here!!

Progress has been slow!

Work has be a bit intense since August and I have been battling an eye infection that would not go away.

My eye now feels a lot better and a couple of work things have been resolved. I also passed my Psychiatric Pharmacy Diploma so I can havea short breather from studying too.

Hopefully I'll get a bit of painting done this weekend and I can get back to all that re-basing I had planned too.

I have been working on my interwar rules in the last few weeks and am more convinced that I have the basis of a good infantry game, that now needs some vehicle rules adding on.

cheers all!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Frontier Scouts

As part of my research into the 3rd Afghan War and the Waziristan campaign, I tracked down this book via Amazon. First impressions are good, it covers the various scout forces formed from local tribes in the first half of the C20th and it includes a number of photographs of scout units. They are surprisingly uniform in appearance and so I have ordered some Copplestone Muslim infantry to put together a couple of companies to support by Back of Beyond British. I'm still debating the figures to use for the afghan army. The tribal irregulars I can do from a variety of Foundry packs (Hill tribesmen, Baluchis etc) but the afghan regulars were a mixed bag, many in native dress but with centrally issued equipment (webbing, etc) and small fur hats; and there isn't anything that looks spot on for these. I'll get away with some regular units being better uniformed - probably using Ottoman figures as proxies (GB make Ottomans in fezzes, that I may be able to convert to fur hats with some greenstuff and a pin.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Where did September go?

Crikey, this has been a busy month. Work has been hectic, but I have managed to tinker away on a few wargaming projects.

My main interest has been knocking together a set of quick-play rules for the early C20th, to cover WW1, Back of Beyond, Very British Civil War (VBCW)RCW, SCW and the Italo-Abyssinian war (among others). To this end I have been reading through a lot of published stuff, including some older gems such as Charles Grant's "Battle!" to garner ideas. I have ended up with a game that looks a bit like "Rapid Fire!" but plays more like the board game "Squad Leader" (but fast). First playtest was last night at the club. I had my battalion of the Borsetshire regiment (4 companies + command unit) supported by a couple of platoons of Vickers MGs and two companies of Turkoman levies. On the other side was a mixed SCW/VBCW force of approximately the same size (about 60 figures for each side) supported by a HMG. The game played well and even with the unfamiliar rules we were finished well inside 3 hours and the time flew by. The rules were deadly enough to fee "in-period" but not so deadly that using tactics became irrelevant. The game lasted around 12 turns and it felt "right" or close to it.

Next I have to think about rules for armoured cars. We'll get to artillery later :-)

On the painting front I have been dealing with some British Lewis Gunners (Copplestone) to beef-up the Borsetshires. Other projects are ticking over and I will get back to them very soon.

Oh, and Partizan was good, but I was knackered...


Thursday, 3 September 2009

1st British muster

The second guards brigade is now finished, so here is a muster of my first four British brigades for Waterloo:Loads more on the painting table.


Monday, 31 August 2009

Partizan reminder

Just a memory nudge that next Sunday (6th Sept) is "The Other Partizan" at Kelham Hall, near Newark:

Not the largest wargames show, but possibly the most perfectly formed!

I'll be there helping James run his Italo-Abyssinian game and generally wandering about helping at the show, please stop by and say hello. As I'm not running a game of my own I should have more time for chatting.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Napoleonic rules available from Google Docs

Hi all

I have experimented with making my napoleonic grand-tactical rules available via Google Docs. I'm not sure how well this will work, but let's give it a go. The link is:

If you have questions about the rules then I would encourage you to join the Paintingshed yahoogroup.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Still around

Sorry for the lack of updates. I have had an exam to sit, holidays and whatnot.

Byng's gurads brigade is well on the way and hopefully I'll have it finished by the weekend. I then have another british brigade to finish and I might then to some Dutch-Belgians to round out Picton's Division.


Friday, 14 August 2009

8th Brigade (Kempt)

I finished Kempt's brigade the other day. I have represented this with units of the 79th (Cameron Highlanders) and 28th Foot, along with a skirmish line of the 1/95th Rifles. The actual bigade also included a further batallion, but I'd rather not compromise the look of the base by trying to represent every unit in the brigade. The fence is a Timecast piece, trimmed down.

Next up are the second Guards brigade (Byng's), but at the moment I am rebasing sime Baccus Russians for a fellow gamer at the club who is interested in gaming grand tactical napoleonics too.


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Now Maitland, now's your time!

Well, that was a fun holiday by the seaside, but now I'm back and have finsihed the basing on Maitland's Guards brigade. I have even added cords to the flagpoles using some fine copper wire: Here is a shor from the side, showing the troops ranked up:

...and a view from behind, to complete the base.

Finally, here is anpther photo of the 5th brigade, now I have added cords and tidied up the base edge (using GW Dark Flesh).

Cameron highlanders next...

Friday, 31 July 2009

Second British base...almost

Quiet week this week and I am on holiday next week, so no picture today.

I have finished painting the figures for the 1st Guards Brigade (Maitland's) for Waterloo and just need to finish the basing. These have apintied up weel and I am getting the "hang" of the figures now I have done a few. The guards even have their cuff lace painted on! Not bad for 6mm.

Next up will be the 2nd Gds Brigade, 8th Brigade and 9th Brigade. The latter 2 bases will form part of Picton's division and will include highlanders and part of the 95th rifles. Should be a good painting challenge

Quite scarily, for the battle itself, this will be 5/8 of the British infantry done. There are all those Dutch and Belgians of course....

see you in a week, I'll get you a stick of rock :-)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

First British infantry base

A brief hiatus to my blogging last week, while I completed some coursework. I'm back on track now and have spent the last few days putting together my first base of British infantry for the Waterloo 1815 project: This base contains the 30th and 33rd foot, along with a rogue company of riflemen who don't really belong there. The figures are all from the Baccus range and are an absolute joy to paint, with their crisp detail. The bases they are cast on are much thinner than the old range making it easier to chop strips up and to base them. I have already ordered a few more and am about to undercoat the figures for the 1st Footguards.

In the background I still have the long-term project of rebasing my 28mm ancients for Impetus.


Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (5)

Here is the final instalment!

By about 5.30 pm the French left hook had pressed the Austrians further back along the ridge. Over on the right there was a series of small combats between Austrian and Bavarian forces, but no decisive results:
Eventually however, the final vestiges of Austrian defiance on the ridge line crumbled. The village of Unter Laiching fell to a Bavarian Assault supported by a brigade of infantry from II Corps along with Davout's reserve artillery. The defending Austrian infantry were pounded into submission. The Austrian left flank was still left fighting, but now attempted to pull away from the real threat of encirclement as Davout continued to push Friant's and St Hilaire's troops south down the ridge:
By the time night fell at around 8.15pm the pocket of Austrian resistance was much reduced and the remaining elements of Rosenberg's corps attempted to escape north to join the main army.

While the game differed from the real battle in terms of the intensity of combat (things weren't pushed so hard in reality) it did share some key features. The Austrians proved how stubborn they coul be in defence but also how fragile they were and how poorly they could cope with even the slightest touches of bad luck going against them. The Austrian cavalry performed well, counterattacking to delay the French and Bavarian advances before being able to withdraw intact from the battlefield.
The rules played well. There are a few minor tweaks I may consider making here and there, but nothing essential and the mechanisms held up well and played really fast. I'd estimate that the total playing time was under 2 hours.
The forces engaged represented somewhere around the following:
French & Allies: 30,000 infantry, 800 light cavalry and 60 guns
Austrians: 20,000 infantry, 2000 light cavalry and 80 guns
French and allied losses were in the region of 2,000 infantry
Austrian losses were in the region of 5,000 infantry and 50 guns
I'd judge this as a fairly major victory for the French. Based on the VP schedule I calculated at the start of the scenario the French gained 20 points and the Austrians 5.
This was a fun game and a scenario I'd happily refight. Perhaps the Austrians need to put more respources into defending their right flank and holding back Davout?

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (4)

It was a quite night at the club and as I crashed my car in Forumla De, I popped home early to get some more fo Eckmuhl completed.

By 16:45 the French left (Friant) had taken advantage of a withdrawal by the Austrians to the main ridge line. St Hilaire's bashed-up division had rallied off most of the disruption inflicted and Davout was preparing for the next "big push" with these two divisions
On the right, less was going on, due to some poor command rolls. One Bavarian infantry brigade even underwent a spontaneous withdrawal!
By 15:15 Davout's plans on the left were bearing fruit. A general attack by Frant, supported by some of St Hilaire's troops had routed the Grenzers and an Austrian infantry unit, while St Hilaire's remaining brigades assaulted OberLaiching and seriously disrupted the defenders

.. on the right, the Bavarian's attempted to use thir light cavalry to screen their infantry while it positioned itself to flank Unter Laiching, however a counterattack by Austrian hussars saw off the Bavarian cavalry and the infantry could not then risk exposing its flank by turning on the village. The Austrians also took the opportunity to withdraw their advance guard and chevauxlegers:

By 15:45 St Hilaire had taken Ober Laiching, destroying the defenders in the process. Friant continued to reorganise his division before any final assault on the ridge.

The Bavarians on the right still struggled to position sufficient troops for an assault on Unter Laiching and Demont's division suffered a disaster when its rightmost brigade failed a command roll and sponaneously attacked the Austrian advance guard. The attack war repelled and then a counterattack finished off the French conscripts.

This may be the last hurrah for the Austrians. The French are making headway into the villages and the Austrian right is crumbling fast. How will the last few hours go...?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (3)

Hello folks! I have managed to get a couple more turns in and this has taken the battle up to 16:00. The following pictures show how things have developed.

On the French left, Friant's division of Davout's corps has continued to pressurise the grenzers on the wooded hill. To support this, St Hilaire has detached part of his division to support the attack with a flanking move. This was fortunate as Friant's Legere were again unsucessful as the Grenz skirmishing prevented them making contact, however they could do nothing to stop St Hilaire's men and the resulting combat forced the Grenz to withdraw.
Meanwhile, in the centre, St Hilaire was forced to withdraw from the assault on the ridge to allow his troops to rest and regroup. Davout's plan now is to continue to push the Austrians on the wooded hill to the left and hopefully wrap up that flank of the Austrian line; time permitting, of course!
On the French right, the Bavarians and Demont continued to advance slowly, although not blessed with the greatest of command rolls. The Austrian advance guard brigade, supported by the Vincent Chevauxlegers counterattacked Demont's conscripts forceing them back in confusion. As a counterpoint, the Bavarians advanced towards the Austrian Hussars, who rolled to successfully evade and fell back behind the hill.

Pressure is now building on both Austrian flanks and their centre has been denuded of artillery and thinned out be the need to reinforce the grenzers. The defenders are still holding four built-up areas to the French two, so the battle is still very much in the balance.
No updates tomorrow as it is game night at the club, see you later in the week, Ashes cricket action permitting.

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (2)

Here is part 2 of the battle report:


On the French left, Davout's infantry are again repulsed by the Grenzers on the wooded hill, however a flanking regiment is working its way around the hill to the right and two regiments continue their advance around the left. The Austrians continue to bring up part of the corps reserve infantry to bolster the defences

In the centre, St Hilaire's division begins to advance with the aim of taking the ridge to its front and cutting the Austrians in half. The Austrian cavalry battery falls back in the face of this advance.
On the right, the Bavarians advance out of Schierling, however one brigade runs into the marshy banks of the stream and becomes disorganised, slowing the advance. Demont's troops, having crossed the stream, take time to reorganise themselves. The Austrians reposition to face the new threats. Eagle eyes readers will note the appearance of hill on this flank to more accurately represent the actual battlefield.
The Austrians seize the initiative! On the French right, the grenzers counterattack the regiment attempting to outflank them and aided by their uphill position and some good fortune they rout them. Meanwhile the regular infantry also stage a counterattack, inflicting damage on their french counterparts although not forcing them back

Meanwhile, in the centre, St Hilaire continues to advance towards the ridge. His right-hand regiment runs down the Austrian cavalry artillery and the French artillery reserve is brought up to begin bombarding Oberlaiching. The Austrians load their artillery and await the onslaught

On the right, the Bavarian light cavalry come up to support their infantry on the hill, while the rest of the units reorganise and the Autrians bring up their own reserve cavalry.


On the left, both forces settle for the opportunity to rest and reform.

While in the centre, St Hilaire storms the Austrian gun line, taking many casualties but running down the gunners before being repulsed by the Austrian infantry holding the crest.

...and on the right, the Austrians opt to refuse their flank as much as they can, while the Bavarians and Demont continue to rally-off their disruption

With the battle at around the half-way stage for the day things are finely poised. Both sides will be keen to seize the initiative as this may be critical to deciding how far St Hilaire can penetrate the ridge line. A timely counterattack by the Austrians could send him skittling back. The loss of the guns however seriously removes one of the key Austrian advantages.


Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (1)

I thought I'd set up a little 6mm game (no pun intended) this weekend and opted to re-fight the first day of Eckmuhl (21st April 1809). This was a rearguard action by Austrian IV Korps, being pressed by Davout with part of III Corps and Lefebvre with part of VII Corps. The set up at 10am is shown below, looking eastwards from behind the French entry line On the left, facing the wooded hill is Friant's division, in the centre is St Hilaire's division and the III corps reserve artillery. These comprise Davout's immediately available troops. Supprting them on the right is Deroi's bavarian division in and around Schierling and Demont's division of French conscripts advancing south of the stream. These two division are commanded in the game by Oudinot (a slight change from the historical situation)

The defending Austrians have taken position on the hills in the centre of the battlefield, using the villages of Ober- and Unter-laiching as bastions to break-up any French attacks. Grenzers have been pushed onto the wooded hill in the north to resiste Friant and the southern flank is held by light infantry and elite light cavalry. The battle will last from 10am until 8pm and vistory will be decided by a combination of villages held (3 pts per base) and casualties inflicted (1 point per eliminated base & 3 pts for each ene,y command demoralised)

11:15 am

After the first two turns, the situation is shown below:

On the French left, Friant has pushed towards and around the wooded hill. An initial assault into the woods was repulsed by the Grenzers who were then steadied by Rosenberg himself, while the french regrouped. Rosenberg has started to bring a regiment of infantry from the centre to support this flank.

In the centre, St Hilaire is holding to observe the events on each flank before committing his division to the fray
On the French right, Bavarian cavalry has probed forward and been sent skittling back, while Demont has started to bring his conscripts over the stream. The Austrians hav countered this by bringing forward hussars and cavalry batteries.

Further reports to follow...

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Hospitaller knights

I finished the basing on my hospitallers in between tidying up my study/painting room. These have turned out pretty well, I think and it is good to be slowly getting through the pile of previously abandoned projects!

Monday, 6 July 2009


The pot-pourri of projects continues. I planned a small ECW project a couple of years ago and invested in some Perry miniatures and a couple of bags of mounted command figures from Old Glory. Below is my second unit of royalist foot. These were actually painted 3-4 years ago and have been stuck in the box awaiting the basing being finished. I have always struggled for rules for the ECW, but my Impetus projects have led me to the renaissance expansion - Basic Baroque and this seems to fit my bill OK. Units will have a "big" 180mm frontage with units composed of 3x60mm stands, but I'm only planning to do small armies anyway (famous last words) of around 4 foot and 4 horse units per side plus some addtitional dragoons, artillery etc. I'm aiming for early war, so my royalists have a 1:1 ratio between the pikes (centre stand, 10 figures) and the shot (flanking stands, 5 figures each). Other units with have a 1:2 ratio (7 figures per stand)

I also have a small artillery piece finished:
Hope you like these!


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Back to 1809

While the paint was drying on my crusaders I slipped down to the club last night and took the 6mm napoleonics out for a spin. The scenario was somewhat ad-hoc with the situation based loosely on Quatre Bras but with two Austrian corps acting in the French role and a mix of French forces acting as Wellington and his allies, the whole thing being set in 1809.
Here is the situation at the start. Marmont's Army of Dalmatia is holding a long line with one brigade in the left hand woods, one in the right hand woods and two brigades in the centre (one holding the village in the middle of the table represented by the granary.
Against the defenders was pitched the Austrian I and II Korps, taking the right and left of the advance respectively.
I'll not go into details as this was just a gentle run-out to settle back into my home-grown rules and part fo this process saw me hampering the austrians by forgetting restrictions on unit rallying that undoubtedly favoured the defender. This meant that the Austrians failed to make sufficient inroads by the time the Army of Italy arrived under Eugene and eventually the Imperial Guard arrived in the early twilight. The situation close to the end is shown below:

The game was fun, despite the forgotten rules and a fresh look at the mechanisms is always useful. I'm thinking of allowing attackers who fail in combat to be able to force a second round if the take an additional disruption point. It isn't a necessary addition, but it might be an interesting gamble and it does what rules should do - encourgae the player to make decisions about his resources.

Crusader foot unit

Hi all. I finally finished off the basing on my first unit of infantry from my crusader army. This is supposed to represent a unit of the Kingdom of Jurusalem sometime towards the end of the 12th Century. The figures are actually from the Gripping Beast "El Cid" range, with the additon of some heater-type shields. Here is the view from the front: and from the back:

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how they have turned out.
My pal, Phil has made a start on some crusaders and you can see his Templar foot unit on his blog: