Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Present for a Mate Finally Finished

All the figures were actually painted during the Painting Challenge and even based, just the German base needed finishing as I did not have the stones to do it. It became THAT PROJECT, you know the one that sit's just off the desk out of site for months unloved , untouched and almost forgotten. Well I sent the kids on a mission and they did me proud.

These are 28mm Africa Korps by Black Tree Miniatures and my friend is a big fan of ASL played in the desert. I wanted to add something that was very much in keeping with ASL. He has quite a collection of my Sniper Reminders so I thought I would go deluxe (bigger base). The difficulty in digging foxholes had to be solved by building walls out of piles of stones or Sangar as they were called. In reality these are rather large to be correct but I do like the look of them.

These were also more often than not built to cover all directions but obviously not always. The stones start life grey in colour and I have just drybrushed them in the two yellows that I add to the brown of the base. I reason that the stones would not be the same colour as the ground but would have a fine coating of sand given the way the stuff got everywhere.

Good old PVA holds the whole lot together and as I drybrushed after the sticking no tell tail signs are left. You have to love PVA, far to good to give to the kids.

I still think the standing guy is too wooden, also if he fires that rifle from that stance I am thinking he will be lucky not to end up on his back. I think he is probably new to all this war thing as his stance is poor, his rifle is not tucked into the shoulder and worst of all is stupid enough to stand up making more of a target of himself.

All in all I am happy with it, hope he likes the finished article.

This one I am more pleased about and it's the look I had in mind from the start. The idea was infantry charging through a mixed defence of wire and mines and I bought the wire about two years ago but never got round to buying the figures until about nine months ago.

To get the correct effect I had to attack one of my mine counters from ASL and make a sign, this is perfect as it says Mine in German. Given that I have two sets of basic counters for ASL I think I could spare a counter for the cause. 

I really like the way I finally did the wire with the breaks for the troops to rush through, it's one of those were everything you thought of comes together perfectly.

I was at the local library when I saw pictures in a book of wire strung on poles, not curled but criss-crossed. This was a strange idea for me as I assumed all wire was curled. As the book was just images of the Desert War I could not resist using it.

So I will be giving my mate these later today when I see him. I should get a game in as well so hopefully he will be distracted enough for me to take the win.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Building of the Week- Two Normandy Buildings

Another two soon to be released buildings from Leven Miniatures as Mike expands the Northern France - Normandy range of buildings. No other wargames building supplier has such a release rate as Leven and I think they just might have the largest range available in 6mm

NOR12 is a rather large twin housing block and is quite a diversion from my usual style of painting as it's mostly pastel pink and has none of the usual grubbiness about it. That was quite a challenge I can tell you.

The Bank Holiday sun is bleaching the walls a little on the side but you get the idea. I am starting to think maybe I should have painted the wood work on one half the building different to the other to show it as two dwellings in one but despite that I am overall pleased.

Gamers eye view and it looks nice and solid. It took longer than I expected, mostly down to the window frames and my painting in the inner frames.

NOR11 is a detached Normandy house and is rather blocky but with the shutters and the rather interesting roof it's a nice model to add to the table. Indeed with the Normandy range now standing at 12 buildings with plenty of others that fit the area the WWII 6mm wargamer has lots of choice and these buildings again can be used for earlier periods and can be used for pre trench war in WWI a period Baccus have recently moved into.

The house is not quite as loud as it looks on the images, though it is rather blue. Hope Mike likes it or I van see a repaint coming my way. Have I mentioned the roof? I really like that.

The two buildings side by side to give you an idea of scale. I am hoping Mike will make a few more buildings in this range as I think they will benefit from a couple of variations so as to make building small towns that bit more varied but keeping similar traits between them.

Both roofs are not just typical slate or tile roofs but look to be leaded. I choose to do them in a fairly new or recently renovated finish. I wonder what they will look like after the Allied Arty has softened them up?

Almost street level shot, here I have some of the new Baccus cavalry moving into the street looking for digs for the night.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

6mm Adler Basing Session and more New Baccus French Infantry Done

No not new new Baccus French Infantry, rather the NFR2 and NFR3 that was released last year (I really did not think it was THAT long ago!!!)

These are another five Battalions that finishes off one of the Infantry booster boxes I had left over. I still have one twelve Battalion box that will be started in May if the wind is in the right direction. I have to say these for some reason was a lot of fun to paint up. I did expect to feel a little burnt out given the recent 13 Battalion charge I did during the painting challenge but no it was good to get on to these. I just have ten more each of Ligne and Leger  to do to have enough for Waterloo but of course that will not stop me adding to that number as I paint up others.

Up to now all my Battalions have had the Losange Tricolour not realising I needed to do Fanions IF I wanted to do it right. The chances are that you have seen the last French Tricolour from me for quite a while whilst I try and catch up ;-) I have added two 2nd Battalion Fanions to these newly painted French.

Here we have the 3rd Battalion, all but one of the Battalions are  in column this time but it's quite possible I will base most of the next lot in line, lets see how the mood takes me.

Having yet to put them on the table I have yet to decide I like the whole correct flags thing. It's still possible they will be torn off and replaced by a more recognised sea of flags. Here is the 4th Battalion showing it's colours.

With the Joy of Six only a few months away you can be sure that I will not get enough 2-6th Battalion flags done to make up the correct mix so I guess I will spend parts of the day admitting my lack of knowledge but that's the price of not digging the detail out. Lee you see is yet to START flagging his, so come Waterloo his will ether be correct OR not yet flagged, now that would be funny. This is the 5th Battalion, the 6th had a Yellow Fanion but not that many regiments actually had six Battalions never mind fielded it in a battle I am likely to play out.

Yes the packs also have the white straps on the back, glutton for punishment as I am. Two of them also have Adler Mounted Infantry Officers to lead them to glory, or not.

I also took the opportunity to base up the three French Adler guns and crews I had got amongst all the Prussian and other painted figures at Blog-Con. I have quite a few French guns already but these will still come in handy as well as the unpainted ones in with the Adler French Division pack not to mention the new Baccus I also bought recently. I bet I still need more before I am finished too.

Not that I stopped there as I still had a bunch of Prussian cavalry to base up including four bases of Hussars. Unfortunately only one of the four can be used for Waterloo, meaning three will be used for other battles and I still have plenty more to paint for the big game.

I am not really concerned as they will come in at some point and I have the unpainted figures in hand for the ones I do need to paint up so all is good as I still have plenty of time to get them done. 

I also have six bases of Prussian Dragoons and again can only make use of one of these. That's a bit more of a pain as six is a lot to not get much use from but again I will get use out of them for other battles.

So all told a fairly productive basing session, one I expected to drag on as it's not painting but they were done fairly quickly and are now all stored away awaiting the call. I suspect knowing that they will get used reasonably soon was enough to get me to push on with the basing.

I still have some Prussian command to base as well as a fair few Prussian guns and limbers but once these are done that will be it for the Blog-Con painted figures until I move onto the Early French or the Poles which I have a few Battalions needing attention.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Stocking Up

OK no Salute for me, and even though I have never been I really don't feel I missed anything (other than the meet up with fellow bloggers).

Of course it's easy to think that when you have never made the trip but I will be honest I am not that bothered finding out the truth. It probably has more to do with the fact that I have not really been grabbed by conventions since coming back to the hobby near on three years ago. The buzz has gone like a jaded relationship, almost like you want the con's to tell me it's over and they see no future in our relationship and they need someone new to give them meaning. It's so much more about the people than the toys, I guess it's the internet showing me all these shiny things. Internet dating of the wargaming kind.

Even though I have those new and yet UNUSED Windsor & Newton series 7's I bought some old faithful's in Rosemary & Co. Series 33 zero and one brushes as well as six Ebony Short  Flat (size 1) that have really long handles. These I use for dry brushing the terrain and it wrecks the bristles but they are great for the job in mind. At just £1 delivery you can't go wrong with them and as I still have five of the smaller brushes still unused they will see lots of action with the 6mm. The W&N will finally get used on the 15 and 28mm figures awaiting my attention.

I also added to the Dark Sword miniatures, though I intentionally have taken the shot so not to be too detailed. Some of these are needed for the Fantasy Campaign I am running in the near period though others won't be needed for some time yet. In the background are the figures I am working on now, a mix of old Grenadier and newer GW Orc's, 15 all told, I bet the players are a little worried about that!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Building of the Week Fortified Manor - Leven Miniatures

Whilst many lucky wargamers were travelling home with supplies topped up, I was painting up this little treasure. It really painted up quickly even though it's not small it reacted well to ink washes between dry brushes to give good layered colours.

This building is yet to be released but it's code is NAP06 - Fortified Manor House and hopefully will be up for sale soon as it's listed as it is on the coming soon section. Again this is one of the larger buildings that Leven produce so I expect it to be in excess of the usual £2.50 mark he often works to.

I love the tower as it adds a lot of character to this building, which otherwise would be just rectangular. I would not be adverse to having the building made without the tower as a second building though.

I also like the small windows and the odd height to them, shouts out that a set of stairs run up that wall. Again some real nice detail is that windows are at different height's. Not a common feature of buildings but it fits well with this building and I can visualise a step down from the adjoining rooms!

Did I mention I like that tower? Stonework is again nice and varied with the surface not only being irregular but also sections stand slightly more proud than others allowing the paint to be taken more on some sections than others. The sculptor of the model really helps you paint this building. 

being very sunny today the sun was bleaching some of the work so I took this one as well to show the stonework a little clearer. For colours I used Vallejo Buff, Iraqi Sand, German Camouflage Beige and Ivory as well as GW Agax Earthshade and various greys and Nulan Oil on the tiles and windows.

For size, this time I used the new Baccus Grenadier figures putting the Manor onto a base for the shot to give a better idea of the scale. I will, not surprisingly be buying this model when it comes out as it's a great fit for the Napoleonic games we play. It actually is in the Normandy area so great for WWII as well.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Battle of the Crossroads AAR Part Three The End

So three weeks on the trot we managed to get to play, that's a record for me since rejoining the ranks and saw us finish the game.

Fortune was smiling on Lee with him getting the best of the activations at this point. He also managed to stop the retreat of the Nassau Brigade on the first attempt but it remained fragile with being forced to retreat again a real threat. The only real good news was that they could shelter behind the Brunswick reinforcements whilst they continued to try and recover order. I also was trying to take a breather to reorder my troops before taking on the fresh Brunswick troops.

Lee has brought up some of Picton's troops to the edge of Quatre Bras with a light regiment just outside the village. I bring up my Hussars and prepare to charge these troops in the following turn, my cavalry have been very busy and all of them carry cohesion losses.

Whilst Lee was weak on the hill in the centre, closing for the kill was difficult as his guns poured in canister causing severe cohesion loss on a number of battalions. It was inevitable that the hill would fall but the cost was surprisingly high, the Brunswick troops were not going to give up the hill before extracting a high price.

I bring the two flanking battalions onto the Brunswick flank whilst I reorder the troops to their right (blue marker means disordered) Lee knows I have numbers and position but can do little about it as the Nassau are very fragile and though these Brunswick troops are still fresh their Division as a whole is close to breaking so he can not afford to loose many more units.

 My charge against Picton's exposed infantry fails to be conclusive and the Hussars rally back behind the guns whilst a second Hussar regiment advances past the guns to try it's luck.

The central hill is almost mine now, the single Brunswick Battalion with the all important guns is now flanked and under threat of being attacked from two sides and the guns can now be flanked. The cost has been hign but the Brunswick's lost another battalion to a cavalry charge and are on the brink of being forced to retire the Division. Piction did have some revenge as many saddles were emptied as my Lancers passed two battalions of Fresh British troops were shaken and forced to retire to their own lines. Fortunately they were soon rallied and would be in position to rejoin the action after a few turns.

Another charge in the centre against Picton but this time I won the combat round but still failed to break the infantry being forced to remain in the melee. The last Brunswick battalion on the hill could not resist the attack being forced from the hill and bringing the total loss to the point of Division break. These were now forced to retreat with no home of recovery. The effect being that the exhausted Nassau would be uncovered allowing me to force these from the field. Picton was soon to have to fight on all fronts.

The troops crossing the bridge were now slowed down more by the need to use activation on other Divisions than the enemy as Lee had retreated into the safety of the woods. A wise move as one Battalion was forced to flee into the same woods due to being charged in the rear by one of the Lancer Regiments. My cavalry had done sterling service but were now were getting to the end of their usefulness unless I was prepared to rest them for three or more turns.

I forced my way into the woods on the right but was repulsed with a severe mauling but still it forced two of the three defending Battalions into disorder. I was in position to keep throwing fresh units against them or drive a wedge between them and Picton, but I knew Lee was unlikely to try an attack on my flank.

Now I was activating this flank early in the turn to increase my advantage. I had nine Battalions of fresh troops and now the activation rolls were going more often my way I was going to position my troops onto Picton's flank ready to bring greater numbers against his vulnerable flanks.

Picton is gathered around Quatre Bras and the only troops south of it that are not French are either cut off or in retreat. With his flank threatened and army morale showing signs of breaking he would have to fight with a very narrow front, extended flanks and still outnumbered and out of position whilst I as the French was bringing most of the reserve battalions through the worn ones and preparing to attack from all directions.

The last of the Brunswick's start to stream past the steady line of British and allied infantry who can do nothing to stem the retreat. The hill is starting to will with lines of French infantry, the day looks like it's going to be very long indeed.

The front line looks solid but these will be retreating soon as their Division has been fighting without support in the centre from the start of the battle. The only troops left are scattered, without cavalry or artillery support (the only guns in the area are being limbered up and heading back down the road). They have no hope to hold the ground they are standing on. These too will about face and march away from the sound of guns.

Meanwhile Picton has no choice but to use his forward units as a blocking force whilst he about faces and tries to out march the French flanking force.

So we left it at this point. Both of us felt the Divisions starting to melt away and become less able to even stand and hold ground worked well. Seeing them falter, recover and falter again was really nice. A few turns out of the front line could have made the difference but the Allies don't have the troops for that and whilst I was able to cycle units in and out of the front line, Lee was forced to keep troops in the line that had no business there.

So this was a rule we like and think does the job we wanted. I also had the idea that units that drop one or more cohesion levels in the game should not be able to rally back to full cohesion. This makes them that bit more vulnerable, less effective and will bring a game to a quicker conclusion.

It is still taking too long but that has as much to do with the chatting as the rules. More aggressive and better management of the attacking French would have speeded it up a notch as well. Sure the terrain is restrictive but I feel that I was not getting the best out of the attack and the victory had more to do with Picton's slow slog and Lee's weakness in force than my generalship.

Picton simply takes too long to get there fast enough to save the at start force from being soundly whipped. I have a number of ideas for this including the earlier activation of Picton but also bringing them on in a double column wide front would also help.

Lee certainly needs more troops earlier than they are brought into the action and whilst this is not full protection from an aggressive French player it would mean he can dish it out better.

Lee also threw his cavalry away too early, keeping them behind the line and forcing me to be more careful with my own cavalry would have slowed my down and half of the Brunswick casualty loss was down to my cavalry. I certainly got the better of the cavalry  scrap this time, one all then.

So a mixed result really. The rules are almost good to go, the scenario needs just a few tweaks and we are there. Not a bad result in my book.