Friday, August 26, 2016

More French Artillery for 1859 Project

Having been pulled out of town for the work week, I return to the painting desk to pick up from where I left.  Finished before I left for the week, mustering off the painting desk is a second quartet of French guns and crew for the 1859 project.  Figures are Old Glory from 19th Century Miniatures
With these four guns, the French artillery contingent has caught up with the Sardinian and Austrian artillery parks.  Now, a few limbers need to work their way into the painting queue.  When?  Probably not anytime soon!  Even though limbers are not in the painting queue, more units for the 1859 are in work.  Expect to see a few more units make it across the painting desk soon.

Regimental Fire and Fury game is scheduled for Saturday for an anniversary refight of the action at Brawner's Farm.  It has been a long time since we gathered for a FtF game and I look forward to facing off against the guys on the field of battle. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Close Combat Results - Forced Movement

After a long gaming hiatus and an ACW game looming on the horizon for the weekend, thoughts turn toward wargame mechanisms to pass the time while away from the paints.  Today's conundrum?  Forced Movement as a result of Close Combat and how to treat it in wargame design.

Force Movement is a term I use for mandatory (as opposed to voluntary) movement for either the attacker or defender as a result of Close Combat.  Close Combat I consider primarily as short range firefights with the possibility of sharp, yet quick crossing of bayonets while one side attempts to encourage the opponent to give up his position.  For this exercise consider the following:

The Red Force has one BMU (Basic Maneuver Unit) in primary contact with Blue Force's Primary  BMU.  Each Primary BMU has one Adjacent BMU and one Tandem BMU in supporting positions.  Both supports can participate in the Close Combat in a secondary role.  Diagram A illustrates the initial situation with Red Primary attacking Blue Primary.  Let's make this a horse and musket era game with each BMU representing a battalion.

Say Red wins the Close Combat.  Red Primary advances while Blue Primary falls back as shown in Diagram B.  What actions should the Adjacent and Tandem BMUs of each force be mandated?  Two options are considered.

One option is to regulate that only the Primary and Tandem BMUs conduct forced movement as shown in Diagram C.  Red Tandem could remain in place but a tandem, rear supporting BMU advancing to accompany the Primary seems reasonable.  In this situation, Adjacent support does not advance.  Similarly, Blue Tandem could be passed through by Blue Primary on its fallback to the rear but pushing Blue Tandem back as Blue Primary withdraws seems reasonable.  Blue Adjacent, while not falling back with the Primary, wheels to avoid exposing a flank.

The second option considered is Forced Movement having each Primary BMU and both Tandem and Adjacent supports conducting mandatory movements following the conclusion of Close Combat.  Diagram D illustrates the result of all of Red's BMUs advancing while all of Blue's BMUs fall back following a successful attack by Red upon Blue.

Of the two options presented, only the reaction of Adjacent BMUs differs.  Should a differentiation exist between how Tandem and Adjacent supporting BMUs are treated?  Should Adjacent supports actively engage in Forced Movement at the conclusion of Close Combat or should Adjacent supports remain passive?  Should Red Tandem remain passive as well and not tag along with Red Primary?  Should Blue Tandem be passed through by Blue Primary suffering perhaps disorder, morale check, or something else?  Should Forced Movement depend upon whether the BMU is in an Attacker or Defender role?

I have my own notions but would enjoy reader input and feedback.  My two options could be dismissed altogether and a third option (or more) might surface.       

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Austrian Line IR31/3 for 1859

The third battalion of Austrian Infantry Regiment #31 moves off from the painting desk.  These eighteen figures are from Lancashire Games and are a mix of the advancing and skirmishing poses.  With 50:1 man to figure ratio, this battalion represents about 900 combatants on the gaming table.  
Of the three, non-command poses in this battalion, I am especially fond of the advancing and firing pose.  Sculpting is excellent in both of these figures and the poses are very natural.  Excellent stuff!
More 1859 work is on the way as focus continues on fielding a few more units.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Knightly Warrior - Based!

Given my earlier lamentation on the lack of a proper base for a recent two-figure command stand for the Reconquista project, the order from Litko arrived.  With The Wood Pile replenished, life is good again!  After I submitted this most recent order to Litko, an idea sprung up in which another order is required.  Next time!
Before the arrival of the box of bases, the plan had been to present a small parade of the latest works on the 1859 project.  For now, I interject this two-figure command stand comprised of BTD figures.  Work will return to these scheduled activities momentarily. 
Sometimes, plans are useless but planning is indispensable.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

French Artillery for 1859 Project

After a spate of 28mm works crossing the painting desk, focus returns to 15mm in general and the 1859 project in particular.

Beginning the calling up of new recruits for the project, are four French guns and crew seen  above (and below).  The guns and crew are from 19th Century Miniatures' old, Old Glory 15mm FPW/FAW range.  This group of four all have the same gun tube.  From photos, my guess is the tubes could be the French 4 lb rifle.  They could also be the 12 lb smoothbore but that determination cannot be made by me.  The next group off the painting desk will show four guns of this latter classification.  With a longer gun tube than these, you can make the call when those pieces are presented for review. 
Naturally, with guns popping off the painting desk, thoughts turn towards fielding limbers and teams.  With eight French guns hitting the OB soon, I am not too anxious to field eight accompanying limbers.  Perhaps, a French limber or two will be added gradually.  That, of course, requires an order from Freikorps 15s

As noted, four more French guns are working their way through the painting queue.  After those, two battalions of Austrian infantry, four squadrons of French Chasseurs a Cheval, and a regiment of French line infantry will find space at the workbench.  These should keep the brushes active and firmly stuck in the 1859 project.  Oh, a few 28mm odds and ends are on the painting desk too!

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Base! A Base! My Kingdom For a Base!

My Kingdom for a base!
Ok, perhaps a bad paraphrasing of a famous line in Shakespeare, but both my supply chain and inventory management system have failed me.  "Failed" is too strong a sentiment since both of these lapses are of my own undoing.  With recent fielding of several, unplanned command bases on 60mm rounds, I did not notice the wood pile nearing depletion of 60mm rounds until these two lads were ready for a base and time was too late.  When I rummaged through the wood pile, no 60mm round bases surfaced.

Without proper stock on hand, an order to Litko Aero was placed.  Unfortunately, Litko manufactures most bases to order and the lead time can, at times, seem insufferable.  Having placed an order on July 30th, email notification arrived this morning stating that the order was ready to ship.  With US Priority Mail, the Litko order should be in hand in a few days.  After arrival, basing of this, two-figure command stand will take little time.  Figures are BTD for the Reconquista project.    
State of the Wood Pile
While the wood pile above may look fully stocked, I took advantage of the 60mm round shortfall to restock a few other items as well.  Refinements are needed in my inventory management process to mitigate this type of delay in the future.  I am sure others experience this work stoppage too.  Oh, and don't get me started on the cost Litko charges for shipping!

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Pair of Russian Limbers

Let me begin by stating that I have a long love/hate relationship with painting artillery limbers and teams.  That philosophy has not changed. Painting limbers and teams is just not enjoyable when "true" combatants are waiting in the painting queue.  Still, many projects seem incomplete without a few limber teams to haul around the guns. 
For me, I guess they represent an evil necessity.  Since only a few Russian guns are envisioned for the Great Game project and most scenarios will likely field only a few guns at any one time, these two pieces are well worth the effort.  For Painting Points, I credit myself with 40 points for each stand.
The limbers and teams are from Wargames Foundry's 25mm Crimean War range and are wonderful sculpts.  After all of these years, this range stands up well to the test of time.  Newer Crimean War ranges have surfaced but Foundry's offerings still look brilliant to me.  Mark, over at "1866 and all that," has been churning through large quantities of Great War Miniatures' Russians from their Crimean War line.  Mark produces great results and I am curious how the infantry would match up.  I ought to give this range a sampling while the exchange rate is favorable.  In fact, why not place a small order now?
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