Friday, January 14, 2011

Influx of History Books I

With Christmas 2010 in the rearview mirror, time to take stock of wargaming related items picked up during the holidays. No new figures arrived with Christmas but I did receive a number of books that were culled from my Wish List. The books received included:
  • The Peninsula War Atlas - Lipscombe (present to myself from credits)
  • The Philadelphia Campaign Volume 1 - McGuire
  • The Germans Invasion of Norway - Haarr
  • The Seven Years War in Europe, 1756-1763 - Szabo
  • Ramillies 1706 - Year of Miracles - Falkner
  • Fontenoy, France Dominating Europe - Gandilhon
One more project needs completing in the new year. That is, to finish the rebasing of the Napoleonic cavalry. When I last worked on rebasing, I made it up to the Prussians but stopped. Now, I must bring the Prussian cavalry up to code. Painting progress has been slow thus far in January and I hope to pick up the pace a bit in the second half of the month. The two battalions of SYW Prussians on the painting table need a bit of attention.

The gaming table has been cleaned up from the lengthy Second Manassas game and I deployed the ECW collection on the table for an upcoming battle. The two battlelines stretch down all 12 feet of the table with two lines of foot in the center and one wing of horse on each flank. The scenario I have in mind is a slightly smaller Parlimentary force blocking a vital bridge that the King's army must take. Below is a photo of the initial deployments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project Plans for 2011

Scott, Austin, Dylan, and I met at Kevin's for a colonial game with using TSATF. Scott and Austin marched onto the board commanding a French FFL column bent on making it down the length of the table. The French goal was to exit their column intact with the loot they have 'requisitioned' from the local populace. The locals were tasked with stopping this reckless pillaging. After suffering a few cavalry casualties from a native ambush early on, the French swept away this speed bump and proceeded upon their task of driving the length of the table. No other armed natives were encountered until the lead FFL company was ambushed in the defile along the river. Taking heavy casualties, the French managed to take some cover along the river bank but casualties continued to mount. A third native warband emerged from the fort that guarded the defile and trapped the French column. With all French officers down and with two more native warbands arriving to surround the French, the French remnants fought their way back to town for a final defense. There will be many empty seats in the mess tonight, the local treasury will remain in its native land, and the French will have one more, desperate, last-stand holiday to celebrate.

Project Plans for 2011:

15mm Napoleonics Project:
200th Anniversary of Battle of Albuera - With the 200th anniversary approaching in May, I'd like to recreate the battle on the tabletop. I have a number of recent Albuera books (Dempsey, Edwards, Oliver, Fletcher) from which to pull data. To complete my OOBs, I'll need to paint a few Portuguese dragoons, a couple of Portuguese batteries, and perhaps some Spanish horse. Then, on to building the map and translating the map to the table. Quite accomplishable by May. Scott discussed a similar project with his troops. If so, the two games may make an interesting 'compare and contrast' between AoE and my heavily modified version of Republique. Or, fight the grand tactical battle using Republique and then switching down to a more tactical scale using General de Brigade.

30mm ECW Project:
Goals include codifying the Ironsides rules and compiling it into a cohesive draft. Also on the objective list is the creation of a few scenarios. Austin has requested a return to some ECW/TYW games and I know Kevin has an interest as well. Their desire to game the period gives me an opportunity to work on the scenarios and properly present the rules and QRS'. Three regiments of foote remain unpainted with two of those three being Scots. My current collection is adequate for most scenarios so I have no rush to complete these three laggards.

18mm 1799 Italian Project:
With ten battalions each of French and Russian, and four Austrian infantry, a couple of guns each should provide the troops necessary for fielding a small 1799 scenario. I'll comb Duffy to find a suitable skirmish. Plenty of AB figures remain to paint for this interesting period. Perhaps, even a small order to 19th Century Miniatures for sample figures from the Battle Honors French Revolution range would be useful (and a lot cheaper!).

18mm SYW Project:
After clearing away the 10mm ACW Second Manassas game, I want to place all of the collection on the table and try a small scenario just to get a feel for both the figures and rules. With an interest in ECW, this scenario may be on hold but painting will continue. Currently, I have two battalions of Prussian Regiment #8 on the painting table.

15mm Second War of Italian Independence Project:
The 1859 project was initially geared towards building the OB for San Martino between the Italians and Austrians. My plan remains intact but additional figures must be ordered to muster more than a small scale action. Currently, I have only about 10 battalions painted per combatant. Still too few to conduct the entire battle but perhaps enough to refight the attacks on Monata. The Austrian 1st Hussars are complete and represent the first of the Old Glory cavalry to be completed. The sculpting on the hussars is weak by Old Glory standards. Detail is lacking and molding is weak with most of the troopers brandishing very wispy swords. At some point, these swords will likely require replacement. I hope the French cavalry are better sculpted.

15mm American War of Independence Project:
Project is complete with only a few units left to paint. I'll work in a unit every so often throughout the year.

28mm Napoleonic Project:
A couple battalions each of French and British remain to be painted along with two British limbers. I would enjoy giving a small scale, battalion action a try in 2011. For the Peninsula, I really need to pick up a unit of Portuguese Cacadores to add to the mix. With the Portuguese lights, the action at Coa would be possible. Still debating whether to add either more Front Rank or Elite figures to the project.

28mm French and Indian War Project:
Project is complete and I ought to make an attempt to field them in a game in 2011.

25mm French Intervention in Mexico Project:
I really ought to either field a game for these figures or clear-out the project. They haven't seen the table in more years than I can remember. I recently sold off a few of the old Frontier FFL figures.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recap for 2010

2010 drew to a close but wargaming activities persist. First up, Paul and I put in a third session of Second Manassas battle after Christmas. This session covered the action from about noon on the 29th to about 4pm. With reinforcements streaming onto the battlefield throughout the morning, this battle quickly becomes a meat grinding affair. Holes open up and are quickly slammed shut by reserves. Kearney's Division has turned Jackson's left flank and is making very slow progress along the spline of Stony Ridge. Jackson's Wing still holds the unfinished railroad cut from the Groveton Woods to the west. Hill counterattacked out of the railroad cut and hit the Federals driving them back to Dogan's Ridge.

 Unfortunately, this attack quickly became over-extended and was viciously counterattacked. Near Groveton Woods, Starke attacks Hooker's Division and having suffered heavily, Hooker fails a panic check. On the Federal left, defensive positions are hastily prepared as Longstreet's Wing reaches the battlefield and deploys. Losses to this point reach about 15,000 for the Federals and about 13,500 for the Confederates. With Paul returning to the road for a lengthy stretch in the new year, I'll likely pack up the game to make room for something new on the tabletop.

Second, I reconnected with (who was once) my long-lost gaming buddy Jake. Jake is in fine shape having complete two tours in Iraq. We enjoyed a good chat and a brief show and tell on Christmas Eve before rushing off to meet his family for church service. Very good to see him again and hopefully we'll meet across the gaming table in 2011.

Third, painting totals for December were respectable and I'm very pleased to have added Newcastle's Regiment of Foote to the ECW collection. Only three Renegade foot regiments remain unpainted. I lost the painting mo-jo for a bit in December due to holidays, final exams, work, etc. and didn't get much accomplished over the holiday break. Still, pleased to be fleshing out the SYW Austrian higher command and bringing Kolowrat up to six squadrons. Up next is more high command for the Prussians.

For 2010, I managed to paint nearly 1,400 figures and 18 pieces of equipment. Most of the equipment consisted of limbers or supply wagons. A respectable annual total and much above my goal of 900 figures. 2010 saw the completion of the FIW project having painted all remaining figures. Well, I still have a few odds and ends but not enough to field one unit. I also purged the 20mm Vietnam collection in 2010 and may be wrangling a swap of my 15mm Medievals.

Annual Painting Tally for 2010
Era Scale Type Figure Cnt Equip Cnt
American Civil War 10mm Artillery 48 6
American Civil War 10mm Cavalry 30
American Civil War 10mm Infantry 46
American Civil War 15mm Infantry 28
American War of Independence 15mm Artillery 12 6
American War of Independence 15mm Infantry 53
American War of Independence 28mm Infantry 25
Bonaparte in Italy and Switzerland 18mm Infantry 208
English Civil War 30mm Cavalry 9
English Civil War 30mm Infantry 54
French & Indian War 25mm Infantry 49
Italian War of Independence 15mm Cavalry 12
Italian War of Independence 15mm Infantry 280
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Cavalry 16
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Infantry 72
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Artillery 24 6
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Cavalry 16
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Command 3
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Infantry 44
Punic Wars 6mm Infantry 72
Seven Years War 18mm Cavalry 114
Seven Years War 18mm Command 26
Seven Years War 18mm Infantry 154
Totals 1395 18