Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Monday, 31 December 2012

Five Baccus Chasseur Regiments

Well the painting monkey is still on my back and he sure has a tight grip. Not that I am complaining as I have shifted some figures in the last ten days. So with the paint hardly dry these regiments were rushed into action over at Lee's.
Originally  worried that these figures would look a bit to much the same given the same green is used for the jackets, trousers and saddle cloths. I tried toning down the saddle cloth a little but I can't see much difference. Well they turned out fine in the end and in fact most of the time the Chasseur regiments will be spread across a number of formations so they won't be massed as a single force. 

Chasseur's have an interesting way of denoting which regiment they are by having facings and cuffs using set colours. Three Regiments have a set colour with one regiment having both cuffs and collars that colour and the two other regiments having either the cuffs or collar that colour. Fortunately I had a chart to tell me which regiment had which.
10th Chasseurs
15th Chasseurs
21st Chasseurs
22nd Chasseurs
26th Chasseurs
I still have a fair few to buy and paint up at some point as France had loads of these guys. As usual I have them in a broken line as the idea of tight neat lines just seems to neat and unrealistic. The 22nd I formed in a wedge but they are just show offs. Dead at their hooves are a pair of Adler casualties I painted up a few months back. I have quite a few more of these unpainted so will be adding them to future bases.
For those who are getting a bit bored of the 6mm love fest can loo forward to some 28mm WWII including a couple of diorama like bases that I am working on at the moment. However 6mm is not that far away as I have started my Secret Santa artillery as well. I have the urge to crack on with some of my 15mm as well. Not only that but a good mate is sending me some 28mm Mansions of Madness investigators to paint up for him which got popped in the post this morning. These will do a bit of a jump to the front of the queue as things tend to do on occasion.
So it's New Year already for some whilst others need to be patient. Wherever you are have a good one but don't bother to text me your good wishes, the phones off and I'll be in bed ;-)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The British Attack, Napoleonic 6mm Battle Report

A big advantage over Christmas is the chance to get a few games in. Lee was again available so we planned to go a bit larger. Lee was told to field all he got whilst I used just about all my Baccus French. The only thing was that I had not realised just how much Lee actually had. If you think this is the start of a list of excuses well you may be on to something.
French hold the town, British to the far right, Brunswick's to the left.
I set up the terrain, this time I had the town on the right and held by some of my French. Lee was told to place two formations onto the table. One of the better British Infantry Divisions and the Brunswick with a single regiment of cavalry.This was to be a BIG Napoleonic battle but reinforcements were to be brought into play as the game went on. As per the previous game initiative was diced for through a turn until one side had activated all on table formations AND rolled for reinforcements. The player with units still unordered then activated all formations except the last one but then could try and activate with a 50% chance of success.
Brunswick's have the full table to roam.
If a player succeeds in gaining reinforcements these are randomly selected from the reserves and then the location they arrive is diced for which was to prove fun even when it was so in the wrong place.
Time for heroics
The last game reinforced that towns are very hard to take. Lee had a strong force to try and take the town and gained the first advantage as two out of three bombardments had reduced the defending infantries cohesion and I was failing to recover it. I should have replaced them straight away at the front but in the end I sent the formation commander to sort them out. He arrived just before the British who decided to fire rather than try cold steel. I got lucky and did not suffer further loss. In my turn I regained a level of cohesion and things looked a little better.
Lee moves the first wave of cavalry
Lee was the first to try for reinforcements getting a large cavalry formation. This was in the far corner. I then activated a reserve that came on facing them again far away from the main action. Come the following turn Lee got another cavalry formation though this time they were lights and again they came on behind the first formation. I failed my next attempt whilst Lee again got yet another cavalry formation further to the flank. This one was much smaller but I was starting to drown in British cavalry. This saw me getting my send reinforcement and yep it was cavalry and yes again it was behind my first formation. This helped a little but I was still heavily outnumbered. Lee fortunately was not making a great deal of progress on the attack on the town as several regiments fell back having been given a bloody nose.
French Cavalry watch the British swarm
These rules were written with the idea that use of reserves rewards the player. However not keeping reserves should lead to formations collapsing. You need to recover cohesion, blindly going forward tends to lead to going backwards just as fast. Why mention this? I was forced to ignore the requirement of husbanding your forces and spread my horse very thin in the face of such numbers.
Games first rout and it's French!
My at start Formation had three regiments of light cavalry. In an attempt to take some pressure off the town I charged these regiments into the flanking infantry. I managed to bring about some disorder but the first (and only) double six causing a Hussar to rout.
Brunswick's get in on the action
Lee did not move up the Brunswick's for quite a while but finally committed them once it became evident the flank battle was going to suck in anything in that area. He charged the Lancers and Lancers both failing to break into my foot but reducing the cohesion of one of my regiments before his units fell back behind the infantry.
Neat lines of cavalry clash with each of us coming out victorious
I had better quality cavalry in the first clash with my Cuirassiers sending one heavy cavalry regiment away in full retreat. On the flip side I lost Dragoons when attacked by two heavy regiments. I also lost a horse battery. Lee had reserves whilst I had shuffled about to get a couple ready for round two.
Flank Attack
 Then the best luck I had all game a reinforcement of cavalry just where Lee had advanced his smallest Division. These ere made up of mostly light cavalry, though one was Lancers and a Dragoon regiment. I placed a horse artillery battery in position, as his formation had already activated it would be a question of who got to move first. Would he see a whiff of grapeshot?
Feeding reserves into the ongoing melee
I was slowly winning the cavalry melee and reinforced a fresh regiment into the battle while the cuirassiers landed in hot water as they charged a fresh heavy cavalry regiment centre rear of the picture above. I really had no choice as they were already deep behind the British lines so  hoped for killer dice to extract them from the mess they were in.
Pursuing m way to trouble
Well I did not get the result I needed, though I did cause a cohesion loss but now I was close to a forced to retire result and given no help was in site a very good chance I would skip the retire and move straight to rout. In the distance is the regiment they had forced to retire. This unit was failing to rally and continue to retreat. Not really a good swap but the best I had.
Not that it was all gong the way of the British as I had a couple of light regiments trapped and others on the run. Forget about nice lines meeting in the middle. The whole action on my left flank had turned into a cat fight. Two things were becoming very important. Winning initiative and having your reserves in the right position. After a fair amount of early success on initiative I suddenly went ice cold and Lee was able to get the charges forcing me to counter charge for a lower bonus. As for reserves Lee still had whole formations waiting it the wings. I need a miracle to rescue my cavalry now.
Lancer V Gun's nice
My flanking cavalry start to chop up the cavalry in front of them and I get as far as the hill in front of the main road and charge into the guns removing one more threat to my cavalry.
The British Reserve
Whilst I am busy cutting my way into the centre and rear of the committed British cavalry a further five regiments of light cavalry watch from near the small town. On the hill is the soon to be attacked  guns and a regiment of horse still retreating from cohesion loss. Lee was to bring these forward hoping to make them the deciding factor in the fractured mas melee. I in return had nothing left to throw in.
Back in the town British storm forward
Not that the battle for the town calmed down. The first wave in the attack was for the most part thrown back. Lee managed to force one regiment to retire but the regiment to it's right was holding firm. I in turn charged a supporting British regiment outside the town forcing these to retire. Now I was in position to counter attack the British that had entered the town. It was at this point that Lee commented that he felt it was impossible to take. I countered that the way to take it would be more troops and keep throwing fresh troops into the fight. Also I felt the way Lee was attacking was not the way to win, though I had no answer to exactly what he had to do at this point to swing it his way.
View along the attack line
The strong guard regiments have been badly blooded and fall behind the advancing Hanoverian. Lee knows they don't have much punch. I in turn try and rally back lost cohesion and bring back the retreating line regiment in the town as I too send a fresh regiment to fight the blooded advancing British.
Cavalry rallying back for round three
I am trying to rally cohesion back but so many fail the tests, I still have time but the chance to fight with no cohesion hits is shrinking. Again fortune gives a helping hand as my reinforcing infantry finally turn up and enter close to the small town. Sure I really need them near the large town but now at least I can cause all sorts of trouble for the British. These troops are half way up the left side f the picture above. Lee charges a couple of light horse regiments into them but I formed square and came out of it fairly well. Lee on the other hand suffered little and achieved his aim of stopping forward movement into the flank of his cavalry.
I had also tried to form square against a second Brunswick charge but the regiment broke and routed from the table, ouch! suddenly my hold on the towns flank was looking mighty thin.
Fresh French cavalry cover rallying friends whilst a lone melee continues
Things are still looking shaky. I now can start to use infantry and cavalry together, I have a few more weak cavalry regiments with the infantry on my left flank. These need to drive into the British cavalry and then the Brunswick's before I can even get at the town. Meanwhile the best of the British have arrived and are heading for the town with nothing to stop them. Worse yet they still have a weaker infantry formation yet to arrive which could really cause me problems. I could feel a bit of a pause coming into the centre as I prepare to take the attack to the British and they try to reform and reposition against my infantry. Both of us have formations on the brink of being forced to quit the field but still being required to fight on.
Crushing attack
Three regiments finally attack a lone French regiment. This was a disaster for me. If he had been forced to retreat I could have brought him back and by the time the next attack could come in he would be fairly fresh. Routers don't come back and count double for formation breaks. Now I sent in the Hussars into the flank of a British regiment. I need to force these back away from the town and get more of the town defenders onto this flank.
Final positions at the end of day one
I continued to expand the pocket on my left whilst Lee tries to force a formation break or two. Here we had to call it after a long days fighting. We have left it set up so that we can finish it off. I can't see how I can win now but I am keen to see how quickly everything comes undone, I think it will get very ugly quick.
Rules wise we have tightened a few more bits up and started to rethink a few other changed rules. What is apparent is that I need to speed up the collapse of formations. These are taking to long to crumble. Two options seem clear. Reduce all units cohesion level by one, this would bring about forced retreats and routs of units rather quickly but I think makes them too brittle and changes the balance between dice and tactics to far towards luck. The other option is to have sub formation breaks. This is a little more involved but should in fact make tracking formation rout easier. Rather than whole divisions going once so may regiments have broken, brigades break which when enough of these break then divisions and then corps if relevant. Kind of like a snowball rolling down a hill.
I need to do a total re-write and fill with explanations before turning them loose on outside playtest but that should not be that far away. I don't have any long term plans for the rules and assume they will be made freely available for anyone who wants them.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2013 And Other Tosh!

OK the year is not quite up but after yesterday I can unofficially call time, if you missed last orders then I guess your not on your own. Today I will just deal with the wargameing aspect, leaving the blogging for another day.
So why am I calling time, after all we have another two days to the end of the year and given the world did not end a few days ago I really have no reason to be premature. Well actually I do and it's Lee's fault. As you may be aware I went over to Lee's to give the Nap rules a good going over. We also wanted to talk exactly where we are going with the 6mm Naps and to be honest tying Lee down to exactly what you plan to do is a bit like knitting with fog! It took the best part of two hours to finally come up with a plan for the coming six months and a rough idea for the next two years. All is subject to change but at this point Lee is focusing on finishing the British to the point he can fight the battle of Waterloo and possibly his original plan of Vitoria though this will need Spanish and Portuguese forces adding as well so looks to be later in the year. Whilst finishing off his British Lee intends to start on the much larger scale of building the Russian army to fight Borodino, the target of my original French army. His long term plan is of course to own large armies of ALL the principle nations involved in the Napoleonic Wars and he has a plan how to do this, but that's a tale for Lee to tell if he so wishes. So onto me.
6mm Napoleonic.
The aim for 2012 was to start building the French army for the Russian 1812 campaign. This was going rather well and the army pack I bought at Derby the year before has been completed with many extra packs since. I also painted up all my Irregular units. However in July I changed direction deciding to go for the campaigns in Spain and so started to work on Frances allies. I have purchased buildings for central Europe and Russia, all are now painted and for Spain all of which still require painting.
The aim for 2013 will still include painting up the buildings and fleshing out the French allies but now I will be looking at extending the forces beyond Spain. I will be targeting a manageable OoB for Borodino (again). The Prussians will remain for the time being exactly as they are, but new units that I may add to their force will be based to my rules.
Sell my Irregular French to fund the expansion of the French.
Finalise the 6mm Rules.
Later Achaemenid Persian 15mm Army.
2012 Paint up a couple of units of Persian cavalry and add more Hoplites. Total failure, not until Derby did I even buy the last of the figures for the cavalry and the Hoplites I do have never got to the table.
2013 Paint up the figures that I own whilst this does not give me the maximum Persian Cavalry under FoG rules it should be enough. I plan to get this done within the Painting Challenge. The Hoplites should be done within 2013 and I may yet buy even more but have no plans to do so.
Macedonian 15mm Armies.
2012 plan was to paint up enough options to field any of the various Macedonian armies. Whilst I don't have every option for every army I can now field most options over the most attractive armies.
2013 may see these armies tinkered with some more but my main aim is to actually get at least six games in with them.
Later Seleucid 15mm Army.
2012 paint up most of the options for this army and get a few games in. Well only a few options remain unpainted and all are owned. Unfortunately I have failed to get any games in at all with them. I was given this army just over a year ago with the majority unpainted. I have yet to paint up most of the pike that came with the army as I can sub in the Macedonian pike as I can with a fair part of the army.
2013 finish off the last options and also paint up the rest of the figures that came with it.
Goblin/Orc Army 15mm.
Given to me at the same time as the Seleucid's but has always been on the back burner and had no set goal for 2012.
2013 nothing changes, these will get started if I either run out of other figures or I want a change. I would like to paint them up but so many other projects are more interesting to me.
Numidian Army 20mm.
2012 get it painted up and try to get games in. Well I nearly managed to build the army up, just technically one unit of Roman Light Cavalry to go. Given how close it is to being finished I could have got a game or two in as it stands.
2013 aim has changed totally. Get the army finished before Triples and get it on the Bring and Buy so it will never see the table in my ownership. It will be priced to sell as I want the space more than the money.
Principate Roman 15mm.
2012 originally no plans as I was given it part way through 2012. I would have liked to get it started before the end of the year and whilst I have made up a couple of units it has really been more so  can use the Seleucid army (camels and cataphracts) though the artillery crews are just Roman.
2013 will be the year of the Roman. I plan to get this army started during the Painting Challenge whilst also working on the Seleucid and by the time Donnington comes round to either have already ordered more figures or get them at Derby.
ASL Sniper Reminders.
2012 these had to carry the load regarding funding new purchases and consumables. This they certainly did.
2013 will see the logical conclusion to this project. Yes I will continue to sell the odd one but I really don't see this helping too much with keeping lead on the table. However I plan to expand the idea into 15mm 3D sniper counters.
English Civil War 15mm.
2012 was to see the expansion and replacement of this army. Most of the Essex 15mm I had bought painted I wanted to sell and buy Matchlock Miniatures to replace them. I have indeed sold three regiments and painted up a matchlock regiment I owned. I have re-based for FoG:R a fair few regiments but far less than I had planned. This project floundered as I then went for 6mm.
2013 needs to see the finishing of the rebasing and then playing a few games. I also have a regiment that I plan to paint up. Once all this is done I either mothball the figures, sell them off or if the rules work out to play well for the ECW then keep it in play and continue to replace regiments I don't like.
ECW 6mm.
Mid 2012 saw the change to 6mm from 15mm. I had a campaign drawn up that would use figures from both 15mm and 6mm as well as GM moderated battles. This was fairly ambitious to get both the 15mm rebased and rules understood whilst also painting up a 6mm army from scratch and finding rules that worked. In the end none of it happened, I have a few regiments painted but that's it.
2013 will see further progress on the 6mm army. I hope to average at least one regiment a month through this year. If Lee starts to paint up his army I would increase output greatly. I may well still do this as I have enough units unpainted to field two small armies. By the end of the year I would like to see at least one battle with these figures.
Advanced Squad Leader.
2012 continue to play often and increase my win loss ratio. March saw the start of the first PBeM league which I joined hoping to win more games than I lost. The  first year had 3 rounds and I lost the first game but won the last two. My win loss remains a respectable level though I don't think I have increased the win percentage. Number of games have fallen by over 30% but I am OK with that.
2013. Win at least three games out of the four in the PBeM tournament though this could be a bit steep as I am likely to be paired against tough opposition in year two. I actually expect to play less games this year than last but hope to get in 60 games, a drop of more than 10%. Two reasons, I expect to play in two campaigns possibly three this coming year and that playing ASL still takes far too much out of me when I do it FTF or live VASL against good opposition.
Figure Gaming.
2012 saw more gaming than 2011 but less than I expected. Lee was working away a lot and we ended 2012 as we started. A game every two to three weeks but most of the other nine months saw a couple of games in total. Matt and I have started to play and have not done too bad but less than I would have liked but he is now clear to go as his wargames room is now free to use again. Barry, well despite the fact both of us had a fair bit of free time we did not manage as many games as I would have expected. Now I doubt we will play another game as since our last rather unpleasant game he fell off the radar.
2013, playing games is still fun so I hope to play more. Yes a game takes it out of me, yesterday was a full day though I sat down for most of it I was still up at 4.30 AM and awake from 3.30. The good news is that I am getting better but it's very slow progress. Hopefully I will be able to get back to work sometime before Summer and if so it will kill off any chance to play for awhile as working will be more than enough to tire me out. Once I get used to it though I will be sure to fit games in around it. No way will I have a job again that sees me working the hours I did or working away all week, I just don't have the body to cope with that anymore.
Painting Challenge.
2011-2012 saw me finish 11th out of 24ish. I also painted up more figures during that time period than I had done at any time prior to entering the challenge. Clearly that was a big success. However post challenge I actually increased my rate.
2012-2013. I set my target a fair bit above my previous years total but the real challenge was wanting to finish in the top ten this year. That's tougher as we now have 47 painters taking part. I purposely started up with painting the 20mm figures as I would get the best points to ease of painting out of all the figures I have n hand to paint. Here on in I will have to work harder for my points but already I am thinking my target is too low and may well submit a revised score. My first place spot is temporary but it's sure felt good.
Wargameing Neutral.
2012 has been a great year on the surface. I have only used money on the hobby that I managed to get out of it. First up the sniper reminders. 2011 saw more money spent on this than recovered so taking the costs from that year into account I did little more than clear the cost. Add in the sundries I have bought but not brought into play and I would say I am down a little. Also keeping me on the gain side has been Birthday and Christmas money which have helped fund the paint rack and the twin daylight lamp. Two items that I would never have afforded without such funding but both have helped improve my painting and speed up my work. Selling figures on e-bay has helped out a great deal but there is a limit to what I have to sell.
2013 will see my continue to work inside the limit. This year more than ever as money is just far too tight for me to spend anything that has not come from self funding. I have had Christmas money this year which will see me through to end of March at least whilst the Sniper Reminders will help me buy the replacement pints, brushes and a few more figures. I am fortunate that through the generous gifts of the three armies from late 2011 and 2012 that I still have so much to paint on hand. I also will be painting figures up for friends this year that again means I won't have to be buying much in the way of lead. Mostly any purchases will be further 28mm WWII for the reminders, some 15mm to try out the 3D snipers and 6mm Naps as I will need more but these are self funding through the Irregulars I will sell. Warbases will be the other supplier that I will need to buy from but you get a lot of MDF for your coin. No doubt 2013 will be leaner than 2012 but I start the year just needing more bases and fresh brushes but I have the funds to cover such requirements.
I recon I did rather well in 2012. I played more and painted much more and set against that the pain caused through playing is acceptable as long as I don't play often and best of all no sign of burnout through so much painting. I tend to paint most mornings and again a bit of an evening and this really helps with pain management and more importantly helps reduce the effects of fatigue. 2013 looks to be brighter long term though as I recover my health and treatment becomes less invasive I can see a rather ironic dip in my hobby time.

Friday, 28 December 2012

6mm Baccus Cuirassiers

I have finally got round to painting the French Cuirassiers and thus finishing the army pack I bought at the last Derby Uni show. Though I have painted up plenty more of that army that did not come in the pack as well. Two reasons for the delay with the heavy boys. First up I like to get the bread and butter troops all painted before doing the cream. But secondly with the diversion to the Spanish Ulcer and the almost lack of Cuirassiers I changed tack and painted up Dragoons and recently Neapolitans. Now I am looking at the Italians and a feast of other forces for this area. Lee and myself tough really need to look at where we plan to go first as I may have to divert again to 1815 or maybe back to Russia as originally planned. But then again anything is possible!
Onto the subject in hand, I have painted up the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th Cuirassiers and the reason I picked these out was that they are the first listed of each colour change of collars and turnbacks (not that I did the turnbacks).
 Until I get and paint up the Guard these will be the best troops on the table. It's been less than a week since I painted them and they get used today. Better than that I painted up five regiments of Chasseurs which I finished yesterday and those are also in action later.

Here we have the 1st Cuirassiers. The donkey like horses really comes to the fore with these heavies, I wonder how well they will sit next to the Adler when I get them?

4th Cuirassiers, whilst a large percentage of the horses are the same two colours I have mixed in a few white and black (white for all the trumpeters) and the blaze and socks help break this up so they do not look carbon copies of each other.

As always I have the figures staggered so that they are not in a perfect line, though these are standing still so I may as well had them in almost perfect lines. This is the 7th.

Finally the 10th. Reasonably quick to do but with the mix of colours such as the helmet getting three different colours (brass, silver and black) it ha it's moments. Still lots of fun to paint.

So I'm off now so wish me luck, which I may well need as this game will be larger than the last one as we try and break the rules a bit.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Numidian Light Cavalry Explosion

Wanting to get a good start to this years Painting Challenge I purposely had planned the Numidian Elephants and this offering, lots of Numidian Cavalry. These are fairly quick and easy as the horses themselves only have a rope around the neck. So none of the usual tack etc. that many (me included) don't really enjoy painting.
I still put a reasonable amount of time into the horses though. All the dark horses were sprayed purple as a base colour. This gives more depth to the actual colour chosen for the horse with a layer of ink over the top to seal the deal. I also attempted my firs grey speckled scheme. I also at the same time used the colours I already had mixed on my 6mm figures so as to use up the paint and steal a bit more time when it came round to painting them.
It was doing the original Numidian light cavalry that I devised the goat/cow skin method for the shields but this was the first time I put it in practise with so many figures (flirty three!!) but it was just a case of having all three colours mixed up and doing a shield at a time.
This brings to an end the Numidian side of the project, that is unless I still do the skirmish bases which I have figures for but they are fairly awful so may not bother. That leaves me with a couple of Roman cavalry options to do and then it would be all done and dusted.
Once finished I plan to sell them as I don't think they will get used now. Not that I expect much for them being plastic. Now I have moved back to metal and my 6mm Napoleonic which will be shown in the next few days. 28mm WWII have now been added to the table but they will be fighting for position with my secret santa though I need a couple of WWII done for a prize for the PBeM ASL contest I have been involved in this year which is about to end.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Secret Santa Revealed

Happy Christmas to one and all and a big THANK YOU to my secret Santa. I was a good boy and waited till the big day before opening up my present. As you can see I have been spoiled with some of the excellent Baccus figures. Indeed these will jump forward in my to paint list. With this reinforcement I will have 20 guns all Baccus which means the tiny Irregular can be put out to grass. Even better four of the twelve guns are howitzers just what I had started to hang my nose over. Indeed I have been blessed. I also have a further four limbers to help move around my horse artillery. Now if only I could get all these painted up for Friday along with the cavalry I have on the go at the moment,  could really give Lee a pasting  ;-)

So again Thanks you to my Secret Santa and indeed a big thank you to all who joined in this years SS I hope you all will join me again next year.
Cath and I was talking whilst clearing the decks for the festive clutter. Cath brought u the advent calenders, anyone remember the ones that had little pictures behind them instead of chocolate? Now fast forward to today's, even the little pictures behind the pressed plastic have gone. The front cover now shows Disney Princess or Spider Man. At least the shaped chocolate is there to remind us of Christmas, right? Er wrong, well in case of Spider Man, the strangest symbol of Commercial Christmas had to be two toadstools, next up was a horseshoe. I know I preferred the Choc ones but now Cath has mentioned it, I do miss that little bit of Christmas every morning. Now, it's just a chocolate and off to school.
This kind of underlines the whole Secret Santa for me. Sure I was really excited opening that special package that was chosen by another wargamer just for me but at the same time I was also hoping that my target was having just as much fun as I had selecting his items. I sure hope so.
I also took the opportunity of paying it forward as Cath would say. I added a second target to share the fun just because I knew they would be chuffed and selecting bits from my mountain to give them was rather enjoyable and wondering the response to a few of the bits left me in a positively good mood. Glad to say I hit the target and they have gone down well. Now I can sit back after stuffing myself silly and bask in the warm glow of contentment. We are having our Christmas meal later today over at my Mums. Cath the saint that she is offered to redeploy our whole Christmas meal and there after over there after my Mum broke her wrist and is unable to put something together. It will be the first group Christmas I have had in so many years and I am rather looking forward to it, especially as Mum has not got a TV (not had one for about 30 odd years).
Well I hope you all have as good a day as mine and see you on the other side.

Monday, 24 December 2012

My First Timecast 6mm Buildings

These buildings were bought at the Donnington show a few months back and finally got onto the table a few weeks back. I already had the Baccus versions but up to this point had never painted any Timecast buildings. I have to say that again I was happy with the product. It's nice to have such a pick of quality product.

These are the two cottages, as you can see both buildings are the same except for the roof, this time done in nice red tiles. The stone base makes for a step down but none provided so I may have to add that little detail at a later point.

I really like the wooden beams that make up the building, gives it a nice feel. This time I dry brushed the texture rather than using a wash. Gives the building a different look to the ink and helps give a different look to what really is four buildings that look the same.

The Baccus buildings come on a plinth and this accounts for the higher price than Timecast who make them for Baccus. Having the two side by side  think I prefer the roof of the Baccus cottage.
Here you can see the difference in the walls between the ink on the left and dry brushing. Of these two I prefer the thatch on the Timecast model. I also have a couple of bases of the old Baccus resin buildings which still need a little base work I hope to complete in the next few days. Then that will be it for buildings for a while. Next up is a job lot, I want to get them done before Triples as then I have an excuse to buy more. Of course I may have bought some at York by then.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Numidian 20mm Nellies

You can't beat a few nellies and given my Numidian has so little punch they need the single elephant base allowed for them. I also used one of the spare elephants to make up a command base. OK not normal under Impetus but it was a wrinkle Barry wanted and something I was happy to include as all other systems have commanders moving around the battlefield.

The command Elephant is on a circular base as per the previous command stands. Still really needs work on the base as I am short of tufts etc at the moment. Given that I plan to sell the army come Triples it really is not that important. Meanwhile I still need to paint up the Roman cavalry and have just finished the light cavalry you can see in the background.

Not a great shot of the unit of two elephants. The flash was bleaching he pictures a little. The runners with the elephants were done at the same time as all the other foot way back. It felt good to finally get them on a base at last. I plan to get the whole army finished in the next few months but after the Numidian Light cavalry I will spend some time on the other scales. Whilst I enjoyed the Napoleonic 20mm plastics the only other 20mm that have been nearly as much fun was the Roman infantry. At least once these are done and sold I will have more space for my other projects. The irony though, finally get it painted and then I sell it.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Total Battle Miniatures 6mm Buildings

The more observant may have spotted a couple of new building in the AAR from yesterday. So I guess it's about time to bring them out into the open. Both buildings can be used for my ECW 6mm army and also European Napoleonic battles, so I can get good use out of them.
I have a number of reasons to really like this building, first up I made it rather striking and I achieved exactly what I was aiming at. Second, it reminds me of a building in Axbridge were we stayed on Holiday this year. I will be buying a few more of these this year, probably at Triples as I know they are at that convention. At the same time I may just spring for the fortified town tile that I had seen at last years Triples.
I really can see three or four in a row looking just the thing on the table. Not that I am now short of buildings either for the ECW or Napoleonic battlefields. The weathering on the food I feel worked. I also washed the windows on all the buildings with blue ink hoping for a glass effect but this did not come off so back to the drawing board.
I already owned one of these buildings and it was the first building I finished that time. This one I have improved the thatch a little, not that I want all the thatch to look the same anyway. All the thatched houses around where I live are totally different in looks based on a mix of how long it has been in place and where exactly it is located. I also used a different ink on the plaster again so I had a point of difference.

Here we have the two new buildings side by side to give an idea how they look together. I really hope that Total Battle Miniatures continue to expand this range. Just to the right you can see some of the 20mm cavalry I have been working on today. More on these in a few days time after they have been submitted to Curt.
I still need a windmill, TBM do a Spanish one but no one seems to do one suitable for other areas, hint hint. Tomorrow will see my first submission to the painting challenge, I have nearly finished my second and I need the third submission towards the end of next week so I had better get cracking.

Friday, 21 December 2012

6mm Napoleonic Rules Acid Test AAR

This was the hardest test of my Napoleonic rules to date. Lee is more than a bit of a Napoleonic nut, not only has he a British Army big enough to play Waterloo but he has at leas 30,000 28mm Nap's and knowledge to back up such a force. The forces being used were based on the first game I had with Andy so I could at least measure the result against that. This time we diced with the higher roller placing a formation then roll again with a +2 to the roll for the player who had not had to place the latest units. This was a fairly quick way and suited a none historical bash. As I have yet to finalise unit strengths and assign point costs it's hard to say how even the forces were. Lee with the British had two more units with a shade under thirty units a side it was close enough to even.
Lee on having read the rules before had already sent a large number of questions, suggestions and out right I think that is wrongs. Lee it's fair to say has never been accused of hiding his view on anything. He has a definite view on what rules should do and I knew he would be quick to voice views. This is very much a good thing when play testing but still I was a bit nervous he might end up drop kicking my baby in the head.
View of my left and centre, Lee holds the town.
My right and Lee holds the farm and field all the way to the wooded Hill
So once we had deployed it was time to get it on. Both of us were fairly linear but both of us had some troops in reserve. As you can see from the picture above Lee was extended beyond my right flank by a good margin. The second smaller town I decided to ignore as I had bunched up on the left so I had numbers to attack the large town. Previous experience had shown getting troops out of a built up area needed plenty of troops.
This is the area that saw the first real action, not the town itself but to the side where the board edge was. I had placed four regiments of cavalry, all Hussars and moved these so as to strike at the infantry. Lee was having two foot regiments hit by three cavalry. The first to test to go into square managed to do so but only formed a disordered square which is slightly easier to break. The other square formed up with no drama. I smashed into both, the disordered square being charged by two regiments. These caused a loss of cohesion but one of the Hussars also lost a level so the result was a draw and I retire ready to charge again at the next opportunity. With the other I again test to see if I loose cohesion. I rolled double six which is a automatic rout, oh dear. Not the start I was expecting, not that I expected to win against a square but the plan was to pin him in square then have at them with the infantry.
First Blood to Lee, the red marker on the rear unit of cavalry marks a rout.
My rules call for both players to roll for initiative for their selected formation. The formation that fails to win initiative gets a +2 to the next initiative roll if again selected for the next dice off. Every turn a formation will fail to get to move as once one player has activated all his units the other player gets to activate all but one. Lee at the start was somewhat sceptical, partly because he is used to moving all his units in a game and secondly it seemed just more messing around that was required, after all all it was doing in those early turns was robbing one formation the right to move. Lee also felt the +2 was to great a swing, especially as cavalry formations also get a +1 to the roll. We kept the +2 but converted to 2D6 from one and it felt better.
Lee also felt the negative of this rule when he was unable to move both his cavalry formations at the same time to beat up on my single formation facing them. I took advantage of this in charging down the hill into his cavalry. I needed to break a couple of these to have a chance to defend against his second formation.
Win and I punch a hole in the British centre.
I had a single regiment of Lancers and three of Dragoons facing off against two Heavy and two Light Dragoons. The negative effect of facing troops coming down the hill and three out of the four combats supplying me with a greater chance of doing harm. This panned out as I also supplied with good attack rolls or passed any tests against cohesion or morale whilst Lee was failing these. All four combats were to go on into the next phase. It is possible for units to fight in multiple combats because if a formation attacker has yet to be activated it will fight again if  in contact, or again if it charges in it's turn. By the same token a unit may be fired on by multiple formations and indeed fire back. This is intentional as careful activation of formations in the right order can bring a lot of pressure at a single point and often can reward careful and well thought out attacks. It was soon after this combat that Lee fully got this principle. I had a convert.
Lee needed to move one formation, but he wanted to make me react to another, suddenly he had a difficult choice to make, surrender the +2 just gained or risk a target slipping away. He gambled and lost out. Again I try to move on the town, I was using two guns batteries together to try and offset the protection the town was giving the British. One level of cohesion had been lost and I wanted to get into his face to prevent him regaining full cohesion.
One British regiment feels the effect of French artillery.
Again though, the improbable double six on a cohesion test. I now in this area have lost a quarter of my cavalry and one of my best infantry regiments. I really need to force the troops next to the town to rout so I can attack the town from two sides. I start to move my worst troops into the front line.
Routers never rally so wave goodbye to another regiment.
I get to go first in the next turn after winning a close initiative text. I select my cavalry in the centre again expecting to rout his formation . My lancers rout the Heavy Dragoons and maintain contact in the pursuit which removes them from the field. But the next combat gets very bloody as both of us do enough to force the enemy to lose enough cohesion to force a mandatory retire order. By passing a cohesion test in following turns the retire order can be removed. I then rout the next British regiment before he does the same to me (yes ANOTHER double six!!) Even so that regiment is forced to retire through casualties taken from musket fire. That's enough damage to fore the whole formation to retire which soon turned to a rout and the loss of the whole formation.
I win the cavalry battle but at the cost of one regiment routed and a second retiring.
Now I really needed to bring the flank attack to a conclusion. The brave disordered square continued to survive as three charges were each seen off. The other square did not do so well when charged by infantry. They survived the charge but were down two cohesion levels. Once the charge combat is resolved the regiment comes out of square for future combats but the damage was done. I force him to retire in the next round whilst my regiment has suffered no loss. Must be because they are Adler?
Bitter battle on the flank
The brave square was finally looking at disaster as I bright up the Neapolitan regiment of fairly poor quality but still fresh ready to charge. The square could stand the attack but the end is almost certainly at hand. Another regiment was also retiring giving me the space to drive forward and have units spare to turn on the towns flank.
Last Stand as I Force Passage.

By this time Lee was able to bring his best infantry into the attack on my right. Worse still another double six saw a fairly fresh infantry unit on that flank run for the rear. Lee still had a couple of fairly fresh cavalry regiments able to help out the infantry whilst I had the lancers who were suffering two levels of cohesion loss and having charged already were without the main Lance bonus. I also had a heavy dragoon regiment that was in better shape but was refusing to regain cohesion! Things looked good for Lee here.
Quality and Quantity, does not look good for the French.
I still had all my formations in the battle but both horse formations were vulnerable and I would need to rest them before commuting them to any further action. I would need to stall the British till I had the town secured and the defending formation in retreat.
Making the best of the Centre
Problem was that I had almost nothing left to throw at the front of the town, true I had forced a single Regiment into the town but it's supporting regiment had been broken (not a double six this time). I needed a sudden collapse to stop Lee from repositioning the defenders.
The cupboard is bear.
We called it at this point. We could both have carried on from here but thought it better to pack it away and start with a fresh game now Lee had a feel for the rules.
View down the line.
As expected Lee gave great advice and suggestions and more alterations are being acted upon than any of the previous play tests. Though I am glad to say, most of the changes are factor based rather than whole rules. I still think we will tighten up a few areas. I also think that some of the area's that were still not agreed upon will again come up and hopefully be thrashed out. It was nice to see Lee get where I was coming from, though in a couple of cases I had to explain more than I thought would be required showing that a few of the concepts need to be made clearer in the rules. Lee often asked questions about why I did this or that with the rules. Not to question their inclusion but to see what I wanted to achieve. This was a really good method as it sharpened up my thoughts and also gave a Lee an insight into what I wanted to achieve and in turn helped Lee to suggest possible ways to improve or support concepts etc.
The most important result was that Lee likes the rules, thinks they work and are well worth moving forward. So much so that he intends to extend his British, wants to fast forward his Spanish, plan his Russians and try and steal the Austrian project from me. Not sure if I should start to panic yet. I still need to try Volley and Bayonet which Matt has.