Saturday, August 12, 2017

Snow in August....

What with one thing and another games have been a little thin on the ground recently.
When it was suggested by a fellow gamer that he had never tried Chain of Command and as he had been making a US Para force could we run through the rules how could I resist.

Besides it gave me a chance to try out the new winter cloth that I have been slowing building up everytime I reach the end of a can of undercoat. I am rather pleased with the result I was looking looking for that melted snow effect and the dark brown faux fur shows through over a heavy dusting of white. What do you think?

A small encounter with the Russians looking to push past a German defence line made up of a platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in early 1945.
As usual my patrol phase was a nightmare, as the Russians I was pinned on the table edge and the Germans bagged all the best defensive positions perfect the numerous MG34's the sections contain.

Overwatch is the order of the day, as the Russians wait it out to amass enough 5's to play a Chain of Command Dice.

The Russians make their play throwing two sections and a HMG into the German defenders, the shock is starting to mount up for Jerry.

The Senior leader arrives and a reserve section. He begins the task of bring the shock levels back down and the additional firepower begins to tell on the already battle scared Russians.

The Russians break and with it their force morale.
Another loss for me... I swear these rules are cursed, still a good introduction to H and plans are now afoot for another outing in 28mm.

Right back to the brushes.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Arab Engineers for Sharp Practice.

The Haiti prep continues with the first batch of troops currently sitting on the side whilst the filler dries before the bases are given a liberal coating of sharp sand.
I thought I would clear a couple of items which have been hanging around since March and Hammerhead, the first items which need to be cleared off the paint table is an Engineering section for Egypt.

Within Sharp Practice the support option is made up of an Engineer Group with Cart it should be made up of six men and a Status I leader, I have five painted up from foundry but pretty sure I have a spare Arab knocking about, and a donkey or camel might be more suited to the desert than a cart.

When in a defending force an Engineer Group may always have 8” of prepared Breastworks or 12” of Barricade blocking a road or similar good news as I painted some of these recently but they have yet to grace the table yet.

Within SP Engineers who are given tasks to perform will generally complete those tasks faster, re‐rolling any 1’s rolled on the Task Roll however Engineers will not engage in firing nor will they attack an enemy. However, if attacked they fight as Aggressive troops in Fisticuffs.

A useful addition to the Egyptian project or any other Middle Eastern adventure.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Haitian Holiday Reads and Eye Candy

Back from the annual holiday and plenty to crack on with after some light holiday reading, none of your pulp paper backs here... The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois.

It did raise a few eye brows on the beach but well worth a read if you have a interest in the Napoleonic wars and a theatre largely ignored by mainstream wargamers.
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Originally a French possession, it was the most lucrative colony on earth, producing a third of the world’s sugar and more than half its coffee. 
Following in the foot steps of events in France and influenced by the The Declaration of the Rights of Man the slave population rose up in 1791 and so began the largest slave revolt in history. 

Over the next 13 years, the island saw civil war and an invasion of Spanish territory together with three successive attempts to re-enslave them. The first was by local planters and the French military, the second by the British, eager for seize Frances colonial assets and finally, after he took power, Napoleon tried to recapture the territory as a French colony and restore slavery.

The rebels fought against huge odds: Britain dispatched an armada of 218 ships to the Caribbean, and its troops battled for five years before withdrawing; Napoleon sent the largest force that had ever set sail from France, losing more than 50,000 soldiers to combat and disease.

All of which makes for a very interesting period to game.

Whilst I may have been technology free for a week it did give me the opportunity to consider how the Maroons (escaped slaves) might be represented on the tabletop using Sharp Practice, initially I did consider both Clan and Militia as options but figured for the early encounters I would start with conscripts as the Maroons had been living in the hills and defeated numerous events by local militia to bring them to heal.
I would welcome peoples thoughts on how they would represent them. 

Conscripts and Volunteers
Points Value
Controlled Volley
Crashing Volley
No Shock
First Only
Hearth and Home

Hearth & Home – May improve Step out rating by 1 when at home, become Weedy Coves when fighting away from home.

Maroon Skirmishers
Irregular Skirmishers
Points Value
Controlled Volley
Crashing Volley
Tactical, Moveable DP, No Bayonets.
Moveable DP – May be selected as a support option.    
Tactical – Can perform Ambuscade when two cards are available.
No Bayonets – These troops are at a disadvantage in Fisticuffs. 

Just need to put in some painting time now to get some additional units on the table.

If Dubois book was not enough the chaps over at Wargames Illustarted have just posted a teaser for an article to be published in WI 360, here's some behind the scenes shots from their face book page.

All Trent Miniatures with a few head swaps for good measure.

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Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor 

It's looking like a busy couple of months ahead...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Milam County goes to war (again).

Every now and again you have one of those games that really spikes your enjoyment of the hobby.
Sunday night saw the dusting off of the Wyverns ACW collection using Sharp Practice and a reminder of why these rules are one of my favourite.

A simple engagement with both sides looking to break each others morale.
It started so well for the South, a good roll on the morale chart and a force morale of 11 for the encounter vs the North's 10.

The forces were reasonably even, we (the South) opted for a marksman, a medic and another section of Regulars where as the blue coats went for ammo and water carts together with an extra section.

The North flanked left seeking out the open ground as we sent our skirmishers through the trees on the right.
Pushing our main force through the field our commander stood in something rather nasty taking his status down a level, I was now wishing he paid for that water cart.

At every turn the boys from Texas seemed to be facing two regiments and were slowly worn down by both enemy fire and the local ladies who called a few of my lads away.

Skirmishers nibbled away at the formed bodies but the crashing volley's and the excess shock forced the South to retire losing by a single force morale point.

Still the poor run of form continues for Captain Story of Milam County.

A cracking evenings gaming and to think I was on the verge of putting these on ebay.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday morning ramblings...

As promised a quick shot of Trent Miniatures and Foundry mixed together not a bad mix in terms of height and scale. A mentioned before the Foundry sculpts are a little on the repetitive side but mixed together they look fine.

With 30+ Maroons now complete I need to start thinking about how to represent them within Sharp Practice, it's a toss up between Militia if I look at the later period of the war or perhaps Clan if the hills and depending on who they are fighting.

It looks like I may have to spend a few hours moving the photo's from Photbucket back to the hard drive... having been greeted with this message recently. I don't really want to be parting with $399 just for the link. Sorry fella's I won't be blackmailed into parting with that kind of money, good job it was only the postings from 2011 effected.


Tonight sees a return to the ACW and "Milam County Grays", 5th Texas Infantry. These chaps have not had an outing since Terrible Sharp Sword, it will be interesting to see how they stand up to the Federals within Sharp Practice 2 - No pressure but they have yet to win a game ---- Yet....

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Paint Table Saturday - Wargames Foundry Haitian Slaves

The Haitian project continues to creep forward.
To compliment Trent Miniatures rebellious slaves, I picked up a couple of packs from Foundry's Pirate range which seemed to fit the bill and give a little bit of variation to the units (although saying that many of the foundry sculpts are rather similar in style.)

12 more musket men, I plan on using Sharp Practice for the games and with the first outing less than a month away I had better get a move on.

Also completed are a couple of Big men to lead the revolt, I have based these on hex bases to set them apart from the main troops. The bases need a little more work but they will do for unit leaders whilst I complete more mainstream forces and officers.

I will look to post up a comparison pic tomorrow.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Not something you hear every day....

"I will pop you a couple of African heads in the post..."

Having picked up a couple of packs from Trent Miniatures at Partisan imagine the frustration when I came to unpack them recently to find two missing heads. To add to the frustration Trent are one of the few companies without an on-line prescence.

However galloping to the rescue was Steve at Arcane who was more than willing to send me replacements even though I did not place the order with them.... Top bloke and super service as next day look what arrived.

I would recommend Arcane to anyone a wide range of Figures, Rules and Paints... You definately have a new loyal customer in me thanks again Steve.

You can see the full range here.

Scenery and Models

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Wyvern Wargamers - RJW All Dayer 2017

Last Sunday saw the annual Wyvern Wargamers Summer all dayer....
One of the benefits of a club day is a chance to get all the toys out on a big table, something that you can't manage at home or on a club night.

This outing saw the Russian's holding a key village against an the advancing Japanese forces, the Russians out numbered the Japanese by around 12 points but were spread across a number of locations. They knew the general location of the Japanese attack but had to defend three key locations worth 10, 20 & 30 points - Only the Japanese player knew the value of each.

  The Russians held a number of emplacements across the front of the village, with areas of dense barb wire blocking key routes to the village.

 The view from the Russian lines 12' of table to cross was no small task.

 10.00am and the Russians deploy, filling the entrenchments with the first brigade containing three infantry units together with an MG Team and Artillery piece.

 Rasputin reviews the troops in the central redoubt, the pots on the far left are one of the objective markers - but how much was it worth?
The Russians were taking no chances in losing it.

The Japanese enter the table together with a supporting unit of Chinese Infantry who must have been paid to fight on their behalf (OK I needed a few more troops.)

 The ranges are to far for Rifle and Machine Gun fire so the Artillery let fly at each other. HE rounds pepper the entrenchments as the Japanese superior training takes it toll on the Russian defenders.

 On the right flank the Japanese advance grinds to a halt as the Russians grab the first field. A single infantry section holds off three Japanese units who time after time fail to come under command. Japanese bodies start to mount up, casualties they can ill afford, being out numbered in the first place.

 The stand off continues are the Japanese are repeatedly pinned.

Eventually the deadlock is broken by a Japanese kamikaze attack which drives back the Russian defenders.

 Meanwhile the Russian Gun is forced from it's placement as the Chinese are pushed forward.

12.00pm and the Japanese are making slow progress on all fronts, time and again they force the Russians from the firing line each time they return. The Japanese are taking casualties at an unacceptable rate. The Russians still hold all objectives and have around 70% of their forces untouched.

 The Japanese bring on their cavalry brigade looking to crack the Russian lines.

Seeing the Japanese commit the bulk of their forces the Russians bring forward the village garrison in the form of the Naval Brigade and Cavalry detachments.

 With the Russian Artillery destroyed the Japanese Cavalry advance into the road.

 The Cavalry sweep round the depleted entrenchment killing the defenders and the Russian CinC who was commanding the troops on the earth works, things were looking up for the Japanese. 
But the Russian Guard was advancing to bolster the defences and well aimed fire was to destroy the cavalry as an effective force.

 The Russians push forward looking to take retake the first objective.
 The Cossacks charge into the fray but are bested by the Irregular cavalry. We did not see that coming.

 As the Russian Guard advance the Japanese cling to the rear of the hill contesting the objective marker.

2.00pm and the Japanese commit their final units and in a sneaky move they have been quietly flanking the Russians forces and enter the table to the rear of the Russian lines and undefended objective markers behind the village.
The Russians rush backwards but the clock is ticking the Chinese Irregulars are within 6" if the 30 point objective and are holding at bay a number of Russian attackers.

3.30pm and with the Russians unable to retake the 30 point marked and the 10 pointer on the trench lines still contested the Japanese have secured an unlikely victory.

As a fighting force they have been largely destroyed and another hour would have probably seen them lose the objectives but by delaying their forces to the final hours of the day they had finally managed to draw out the Russian defenders out before throwing in their last units.

A fantastic days gaming a few tweaks are needed next time around, perhaps weakening the Russian command scores and increasing the number of attackers as the emplacements were flaming hard to crack with limited artillery and Infantry. But MWWBK made for a slick game with plenty of toys on the table.
Roll on the next all dayer....

Elsewhere others made great use of the space and extra time.
A huge 15mm affair with 18' of table in action.

Once again Napoleon is beaten on the fields of Waterloo this time in 6mm

Right back to the brushes as I plan the next project.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

2nd post of the day - RJW All dayer....

Dashing in to save the day - The Japanese dismounted cavalry make an appearance just in time for tomorrows game.
Let's hope they don't suffer the fate of most newly painted figures and lose on their first outing.

Another fine selection of figures from Tsuba Miniatures - sculpted by Paul Hicks.

Even time to paint up Rasputin - Delivering inspiration to the Russian Troops.
This would been before he met the Tsar.... Perhaps a holiday in the East?

With size of game planned I have a couple of minor rule amendments.

Instead of each unit containing an officer with character traits, I have introduced 3 commanders per side, these can be attached to units or hold a command radius allowing one unit each turn to re-roll their initiative if required.

If a unit in the command fails its command roll that brigade can no longer activiate any further units unless the office is used, this is similar in style to Dragon and Lion Rampant but should slow the activiation rate and slow the casualty rate as the number of regular units is quite high on each side and with free fire actions casualties could soon mount up.

Let's see.

Off to print the order sheets and grab a well deserved beer..... Asahi no less :-)