Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Anatomy of a Project - Napoleonics in 28

Being out of town and away from the painting desk for the week, hobby activities are confined to reflection and reading.  No painting this week...

Given a recent influx of Napoleonic lead, I thought it might be a good time to take stock of the 28mm Napoleonic project.  What better way to see what I have accomplished than to deploy the forces on the table?  Often, it is easy to forget exactly what has mustered off the painting desk without holding an occasional Pass In Review.
First, a bit of project history.  This project first sparked to life in 2005 and then quickly went into a hiatus.  You see, this was a "buddy" project.  My friend had purchased several units of British and French Front Rank figures.  He wanted to field the French and asked me to buy out the British.  He envisioned painting these two forces for small Peninsular War actions.  Of course, I agreed.  Paint a few units and have some enjoyable games with a friend.  
After painting a few of the British infantry battalions, I noticed no progress on the French call up.  I continued to knock out a few units but after a few years, still no action on the French activation.      
Unfortunately, my friend became very sick and ended up selling his French figures to another buddy.  I finally came to the realization that if I planned to put this British force to work, they needed an opponent.  My solution?  Build a French force to oppose the British.   

Although never a priority project, after a little less than ten years, the project stands with two very playable forces.  This collection has actually seen combat on the gaming table in 2014.  Twice!

The British: 
At present, the British field 46 cavalry, 270 infantry, and 4 guns.

The French:
At present, the French field 50 cavalry, 240 infantry, and 4 guns.

What about the unpainted Napoleonic lead I mentioned at the top of the post? Well, here it is.  Two trays of unpainted lead.  Mostly Front Rank but other makes are in there too.  This alone would keep me busy for quite awhile.
For 2015, I want to make a dent in this Lead Pile.  Could I empty one of these boxes in 2015?  Unlikely, but worth a try.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

State of the Painting Desk

Today's snapshots of the painting desk show, not surprisingly, a bit of variety.

One project seeing some attention is the 15mm 1859 Risorgimento project.  In work are two, 12 figure Sardinian grenadier battalions from Lancashire Games and three Austrian limbers and teams from Freikorps 15s.
1859 figures in work
Also on the desk are eight, Front Rank British hussars for the Peninsular War project.  Once I get a little further along with the horses, I will need to pick the regiment to field. 
Front Rank Napoleonic horse flesh
Finally, a second group of 15 Old Glory U.S. infantry for the Spanish-American War project await the brush.  The Americans for the SAW project are a great diversion in between painting the more complex uniforms for either SYW or Napoleonics.  Switching between scales and projects is an excellent deterrent to brush burn-out.
Old Glory SAW U.S. infantry
The last two weeks have witnessed a large influx of unpainted lead into The Lead Pile.  Some of this was not my fault.  No, really.  From the postman came about 100 Front Rank Napoleonics, several hundred Old Glory Italian Wars figures, about 100 TAG Italian Wars figures, handfuls of BTD Trojan War figures, close to 400 Lancashire figures for the 1859 project, and about 100 Foundry Italian Wars figures.  Hmm.  Looks to me like a couple of new projects are in the offing.

I was pondering the notion of having 2015 as the year of painting more than purchased.  Thankfully, that was not a New Years' resolution.  Clearly, I am already behind the eight ball.  I need some restraint...

Project Plans for 2015?  Well, that needs more careful thought.

Friday, January 16, 2015

SYW Prussian Dragoons - Secret Santa

Two squadrons Prussian Dragoon Regiment #1
As a first time participant in Ian's Secret Santa exchange, I was delighted to receive a battalion's worth of Prussian musketeers and two squadron equivalents of Prussian dragoons from my Secret Santa.  What I received is shown below:
Secret Santa gift
Great stuff, eh?  Not only did my Secret Santa choose a suitable period but also made the effort to divine the proper proportions in which I field each unit.  Outstanding effort!  That thoughtfulness is much appreciated.

As a small token of my gratitude to my benefactor, the 12 gift dragoons parade off from the painting desk not yet a month out from Christmas.  These two squadrons will form up with two sibling squadrons to bring Dragoon Regiment #1 up to four squadrons.

Thank you, Secret Santa!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chadd's Ford: End of the Struggle - BatRep

To remind one how we reached this stage of the battle see:
Part 1: Maxwell's Delay
Part 2: Maxwell's Destruction
Part 3: Brinton's Ford

Battle Continuation: Turn 7
As both British columns descend on Brandywine Creek, there is a crescendo of musketry fire all along the front lines.

Gaining the initiative, Knyphausen activates Grant on the British left.  After recovering from disorder caused by the 27th's sudden retrograde, the 40th fires into the 2/7 Maryland with a punishing volley.
40th volleys into Marylanders
Shaken from heavy casualties, the Marylanders fall back from the ford and disorder the German battalion as they pass through.  Being in reserve and in support of Marylanders, the Germans suddenly find themselves on the front line.  

With the Marylanders falling back, Grant orders the 40th forward.  During the advance, the 40th stops to let loose a volley into the beleaguered Germans.
40th volleys into the German battalion
Still wavering from their recent firefight and under heavy fire once again, the Germans scatter.  Meanwhile, anchoring the far left of the British line, Grant's artillery pounds the 4th Maryland on the opposite bank of the creek. The artillery fire exhausts the Marylanders.  De Borre's command is being ripped asunder.
British artillery pound the Marylanders
Following up in close support of the 40th, the 55th advances after reordering its lines.  The 27th recovers from its disorder as well.  To personally oversee the rallying of the 10th, Grant joins the regiment in an attempt to bolster its morale.  With Grant present, the 10th improves from exhausted to shaken.

Having witnessed the destruction of the Germans and the withdrawals of both the 4th and 2/7th Maryland regiments from Brinton's Ford, Sullivan turns his attention to his second brigade.  Smallwood orders the 1st MD to advance to the creek bank in hopes of relieving pressure on De Borre's command.  After halting near the banks of the creek, the 1st MD fires into the 40th.
1st MD in action
The British sustain casualties but remain firm.  To apply more pressure on the 40th, Smallwood sends a forced order to the 1st MD.  It refuses to act and becomes disordered.
1st MD halts in disorder
While the 1st Maryland may have balked at pressing on, Smallwood's artillery takes aim and fires into the redcoats.  Disordered by casualties from Smallwood's artillery fire, the shaken 40th falls back from the ford.  Once again, the 55th suffers disorder as a comrade retrogrades through its ranks.
British stacking up like cord wood
De Borre activates and successfully brings the 2/7 MD and 4th MD back to good order.  De Borre's guns fire into the 10th.  The 10th takes additional casualties but stands firm with Grant's presence.

On the American left, the guns overlooking Chadd's Ford open up against the Queen's Rangers.  Taking heavy casualties, the rangers are shaken and fall back through Vaughn's guns and the 4th foot as Vaughn's brigade continues its advance on the ford.  Both guns and 4th are disordered as the rangers pass through.
Queen's Rangers retreat
Vaughn's advance on Chadd's Ford
Turn 8
Winning the initiative, Washington activates Sullivan who, in turn, pushes De Borre.  The 2/7 MD reloads and double times back to Brinton's Ford.  A quick volley into the 55th Foot does little damage.

Returning the favor, the 55th pours lead into the Marylanders.  The 2/7 takes heavy casualties and becomes exhausted but maintains its position along the creek.  As Grant's guns join in against the Marylanders, the 2/7th scatters.  Having destroyed the 2/7, Grant's guns turn their barrels to the 4th Maryland.  The Marylanders suffer casualties and become disordered.
With more than half of De Borre's command either destroyed or exhausted, De Borre's brigade is broken.

Sullivan then sends Smallwood back into action.  Recovering from disorder, the 1st MD double times back to the ford and then puts out a ragged volley into the 55th.  No damage to the 55th is recorded.  With muskets empty, Smallwood sends a forced order to the 1st MD.  The effort of reloading muskets after their exertion disorders the 1st MD.  The 3/6 Maryland likewise double times up to the ford.  Smallwood's guns target the 10th.  Artillery fire opens holes in the British ranks but the 10th stands.  Grant's attempt to rally the 10th's stragglers and wounded back to the ranks is a success.  Huzzah!
Grant keeps the pressure on
Back on the British right, Vaughn continues his advance on the Americans' positions strung out defending Chadd's Ford.  First, the 28th Foot double times towards the creek, stops, and unloads two volleys into the 2nd Virginia.  Shaken from the musketry, the 2nd falls back from the ford.  Second, Vaughn's guns move up the road, unlimber, and fire into 1st/5th Virginia.
Vaughn's guns pound the Virginians
Taking heavy casualties, the Virginians fall back through the 14th Virginia, disordering their fellow Virginians.  The 1st/5th does not stop retreating until encountering Washington near Chadd's Farm.  On the far right, Wayne's light infantry is destroyed by musketry from the 23rd Foot.
Virginians driven back from ford
Attempting to stabilize the setbacks near the ford, Weedon's brigade responds.  The 6th VA pours three volleys into the 28th Foot.  While each volley was not devastating alone, the casualties mount and in aggregate, cause the 28th to become shaken.  The 28th holds its ground.

The 2nd Virginia double times to the creek as Weedon gallops to join the Virginians.  With Weedon's influence, the 2 VA lashes out with two crippling volleys into the already weakened 28th.  The 28th buckles under the firepower and scatters.
Destruction of the 28th Foot
Weedon's guns fire from the redoubt on the hill into the 49th Foot.  The 49th takes modest casualties and is disordered.  As the firefight at the ford continues, the plodding German brigade under Stirn breaks into view.  
Kynphasuen closes in on Chadd's Ford
Turn 9
Regaining the initiative,  Knyphausen chooses to activate Grant on the British left rather than press on first with Vaughn.  With De Borre's brigade broken, now is the time to act.  Grant, still attached to the 10th Foot, uses one CP to rally the stragglers and wounded back to the colors.  The 10th then uses its orders to rally itself from disorder.

Astride the road leading to Brinton's Ford, the 55th unleashes two volleys (one punishing) into the 1st Maryland.  The shaken 1st falls back through the 2nd Canadian, disordering both.
1st Maryland driven back
As the 1st MD passes through the 2nd Canadian, the 2nd becomes the target for Grant's guns.  The 2nd suffers casualties but stands solidly.

On the American side of Brinton's Ford, De Borre activates in an attempt to salvage his command.  Broken, each element must pass a Discipline Morale Check.  Already exhausted, the 4th MD fails and dissolves.  Shaken, the 2nd Canada, likewise fails, becoming exhausted.  The 2nd falls back.  De Borre's artillery passes the test and remains in place to lend supporting fire.  Targeting the 55th, De Borre's guns inflict numerous casualties and the 55th is shaken.

Back on the British right, Kynphausen activates Vaughn who continues with his probing attacks towards Chadd's Ford.  The 23rd Foot marches smartly forward and lets loose two volleys into the 9th Virginia.  The 23rd's first volley is ragged but the second is punishing.  Shaken and disordered, the 9 VA holds.

The 4th Foot advances along the ford road and then halts to deliver two volleys into the 14 Virginia.  The 14th takes heavy casualties and falls back, shaken.   

Clearing itself from disorder, the 49th, on the left of the road, advances and then halts to pour a punishing volley into the 2nd VA along the banks of the Brandywine.  Exhausted, the 2nd VA falls back from the ford.  Falling back is no respite for the wavering 2nd VA.  Artillery fire targets the disintegrating regiment and it is destroyed.  Gaps begin appearing in the American lines defending Chadd's Ford.
2nd VA destroyed
American defense of Chadd's Ford weakens
With De Borre on the American right broken and Smallwood beginning to waver, Grant looks to have a good opportunity to secure Brinton's Ford and make a bridgehead.  On the American left, cracks in the defensive line are likewise materializing.  Having Kynphausen's guns ready to lend supporting fire from the high ground, defenders will be fortunate to withstand the pressure.  As Stirn's fresh Germans are yet to enter the fray, an all out assault across Chadd's Ford would likely see eventual success. 
Battle map looking north
Battle map looking east
Needing to bring the game to a conclusion to make way for another game, I declare that Kynphausen would eventually prevail.  Fun solo exercise and a solid advancement of my understanding of Land of the Free.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mirliton Figures of Italy

After a very long silence, I received an email from Tony (KStudio Miniatures), the USA stockist for Mirliton miniatures of Italy.  Tony announced that he would be making a group order to the home country in about one week and requested orders.  If enough orders come in, an order will be placed back to the Mother Ship in Italy.  Since these group orders are few and far between, jumping in when they are offered is paramount.

Now, Mirliton make what I consider some of the finest cavalry for the Second Italian War of Independence in 18mm and their artillery is first rate too.  Oh, and Bersaglieri? Outstanding!  Actually, the entire product line for the period is first rate.

The main issue keeping me from ordering more of the figures is the expense of shipping to the USA.  It is not uncommon for an order for USD$100 to cost nearly USD$50!  That is correct, almost 50% of order value and the figures are not inexpensive to begin.

One benefit of ordering through Tony is that a discount is offered but a minimum order size is required.  In the case of this order, a minimum of EUR 85 is required.  The high cost of postage still must be born, but a minimum 25% discount is offered for the figures, themselves.

Mirliton also offers a number of other very interesting and well crafted ranges including Ancients, Renaissance, Napoleonics, and Franco-Austrian War in 28mm.  On one past order, I included a number of wounded Roman to be used as markers.
Mirliton wounded Romans
My thought was to use these as disorder markers for Impetvs.  The problem with this logic?  In our last Impetvs game, at least 20 of these markers would have been required!  Nifty figures and I may order more anyway.

I must put pencil to paper and come up with an order.  Focus will likely be on cavalry since I can get suitable infantry from other vendors but I must have more cavalry.  Unfortunately (well, maybe fortunately for my wallet), Mirliton doe not offer French for this conflict in 18mm.  A very handsome range in 28mm is available, though.

If any U.S. reader fancies seeing some of these figures in hand, drop me an email and we can work out the details of piggybacking onto my order.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

SAW U.S. Colored Infantry - Old Glory

With a year-end painting push, holidays, two games in the rear-view mirror and a return to work, I found myself with little time or motivation to get down to the game room for quality, evening painting sessions this week.

What I did get accomplished on the painting front was a 15 figure unit of Spanish-American War U.S. Colored infantry.  Figures are 25mm Old Glory and utilize the same, advancing body poses as the other U.S. infantry but the faces have been redone.  The detailing on the faces is disappointing compared to the fine quality of the other U.S. figures in this range.  On the gaming table, the figures will look great.

Also on the painting desk are two squadrons of Eureka 18mm SYW Prussian dragoons.  These troopers with become two, 6 figure squadrons from Dragoon Regiment #1.  Two squadrons from the 1st mustered out long ago so the addition of these will bring the regiment up to four squadrons.  It has been a long time since Prussian cavalry has seen action at the painting desk so very good to get to work on Prussian cavalry.
My Secret Santa should recognize these figures as they were part of my package from my generous benefactor.

Secret Santa, I respect your anonymity but I would appreciate the knowledge of your identity for proper recognition.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...