Sunday, January 29, 2012

Commands and Colors: Napoleonics

I joined Kevin and Dylan on Saturday afternoon for three hours of Command and Colours: Napoleonics. Scott had planned to join but was sidelined my a recent medical procedure. The three of managed to fit in three games in the three hours. Barossa was fought twice: one victory going to the French and one victory to the allies. I was victorious in both games. In the final game of the afternoon, Kevin's French faced off against Dylan's British/Portuguese in the action at Coa. The victory conditions for the allies are either to exit six unit across the bridge and off board, take six banners in combat or any combination of the two. The allies won Coa but it was a near run thing with the British winning 6 banners to 5.

The Allies began the game pulling back their right flank and giving up the earthworks protecting the bridge as the Portuguese made a beeline towards the bridge. Before the French could maneuver into position, both Portuguese infantry had exited the board. The French brought up their cavalry on the flanks and attacked aggressively on the right while maneuvering for position on the left. The British exited one British command with leader. Two more banners to the British.

With the British right now precariously exposed, the French launched cavalry charges into the crumbling position forcing two British infantry units into square. British light cavalry countercharged and stopped one French cavalry unit while the second French cavalry tore into a weakened, square. The square was destroyed and the French cavalry hit the weakened British light horse. This unit, too, was destroyed. The second British square was destroyed by French infantry.

In the end game, French forces cut the British off from the bridge and their escape route and were advancing on Almeida. The British remaining on the Almeida heights would have to cut their way through the French in order to open passage to the bridge. With banners 5:5, the British were able to destroy remants of a French cavalry unit to win the game. Very close game and a scenario I'd enjoy seeing again.

10mm ACW Project:

Rebasing of the artillery begins and I painted two stands of infantry (20 figures) following my proposed basing in the 27 JAN posting. At present, I still lean towards the aesthetic appearance of my current 23 figure infantry stand over the 10 figure, "half" stands. Jury is still out on rebasing to RFF equivalents.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Projects Update and CCA/CCN

I finally managed to get the stickers affixed and blocks sealed on my Command and Colors: Ancients game. On Scott's recommendation, I purchased the small, five compartment Plano tackle boxes to use to store the game blocks. Sorting through the blocks and labels, I discovered that the block mix was incorrect. Rather than having a mix of Roman and Carthaginian large blocks for elephants, I only received the elephant-sized Carthaginian blocks. I considered repainting four of the brown blocks to gray but Scott suggested dropping GMT and e-mail and requesting replacements. I followed Scott's advice and GMT responded to my e-mail promptly and I had the replacement blocks in my mailbox within one week. Great service from GMT! Now, I am ready to host Roman vs Carthage games. While I will not likely buy the supplements, it will be useful to have the base game in hand. My plan is still to use the base CCA system and convert it over to 6mm miniatures' gaming.

We have been enjoying our CCA/CCN games and I'll be joining Kevin and Dylan Saturday afternoon for a few games of CCN. Kevin received the Spanish supplement a few weeks ago and we gave the Spanish their baptism during our gaming on JAN 7. The Spanish, although not as powerful as the French, have a powerful capability of launching a guerrilla attack at the most inopportune time. As for tactics, in the games we played, redoubts seem to fall much too easily. In my game against Scott, he hesitated not in launching an attack against emplaced guns without any preparatory softening up. In cases, the guns in the redoubts fell without any difficulty due to the attacker marching up to the redoubt and rolling hits against the defender. Perhaps, one idea to consider is to allow the defender to throw one half of his dice prior to the attacker's throw as a closing fire on the approach. If the defender is still able to battle back after the attacker's assault, the defender would then only throw one half of his dice. I would like to give that a try and see if that small change improves the game.

18mm Napoleonic Project:
Recent orders have arrived from Campaign Game Miniatures (CGM) in Spain and Old Glory. From CGM, I picked up sample units from CGM's Napoleonic line and Warmodelling. First off the painting table is one unit of CGM's Austrian line in helmet. Nice figures that are slightly more chunky than Old Glory and much more chunky than Battle Honours. The mounted officer is from AB.

Next off the painting table is one unit of Warmodelling's French in bicorne. The figures are larger than Old Glory and carry less crisp detail but will look fine on the gaming table. Actually, the figures in the picture below look quite good.

From Old Glory, I picked up sample bags of Blue Moon French in full dress. I painted three, 13 figure units and the figures are quite nice with good detailing and pleasing poses. For mounted officers, I used AB French.

Also won an auction for about a dozen AB Miniatures' LaSalle packs. These packs consisted of about an equal number of French and Peninsular British infantry, each having about 40 figures.

18mm SYW Project:
Painting on one battalion of Blue Moon's AWI Hessian fusiliers is complete and the battalion will be fielded as Prussian Fusilier Battalion #46. As noted in an earlier post, the Blue Moon figures match closely in size to Eureka's SYW Austrians but are slightly smaller than Eureka's Prussian fusiliers. Also crossing the painting table was one battalion of Prussian musketeers.

 10mm ACW Project: 
Having gamed many of the large battles of the war with each base equating to about 1,000 men, I am considering tackling the small actions using Regimental Fire and Fury (RFF). While I could fudge the recommended RFF basing to accommodate my brigade-level stands, I am contemplating rebasing the collection to (more or less) conform to the standard RFF basing. However, in the spirit of tinkering, under consideration is one RFF infantry base (0.875" x 1.125") equalling two 10mm bases. Each new base would hold two, five-figure strips and count as a reinforced line (i.e. two stands in depth). Thus, each 10mm base will be able to take two casualties before removal. The first casualty on each stand will require a small marker to denote the loss. For extended line, my thought is to use the skirmish figures I currently have mounted on each brigade stand and making a bunch of 'Extended line' markers to denote the correct frontage when the infantry is deployed in extended line. Artillery and cavalry will remain on the same size base as the infantry.

15mm Second War of Italian Independence Project: 
Two squadrons of Sardinian light horse and one gun with crew are finished. I spent Thursday evening creating flags for the Sardinian and Austrian infantry. Up to now, all of the foot battalions have carried no colors. Now I have enough flags to outfit each battalion with one color and will spent part of the weekend affixing flags. Although only the first battalion of each regiment carried a flag in the field, I am adding one color to each battalion.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Command & Colors + ECW Books

Kevin is hosting a Command and Colors: Napoleonics (CC:N) session on Saturday. Scott and I are planning to attend. The Command and Colors system is a fast playing and eloquent system. My impressions of the Napoleonic version are limited to only a couple of playings but the ancient version is first rate. I have found in the Napoleonic sibling that play is much slower than its older brother, ancients. Part of the speed decrease could be due to the more nuanced tactics in the Napoleonic set. Rather than a unit maintaining the same firepower regardless of losses, CC:N has a unit's firepower degrade as losses mount. Another nuance that requires further test games is that it appears that melee is a preferred tactic for the French over British. Anyway, looking forward to an enjoyable day of gaming.

With the introduction of CC:A and CC:N into our gaming rotation, actual miniatures' gaming has been reduced. Looking back at the Events page, I may have only played six or so miniatures' games outside of my solitaire activities in 2011. Still, that yields more than one game per month. For me, that's about the right pace. Once I get the hex map created, I plan to give CC:A in 6mm a try.

I popped over to Scott's on the 26th to pick up my portion of the Old Glory order and get in a few games of CC:A. I think we got in four games with each of us winning two. The highlight for me was skunking Scott in the Battle of Marathon with the Greeks sweeping the Persians from the field. Scott is a very good CCA player but I was able to repeatedly pressure and drive back the Persian right flank forcing a collapse of the Persian line. Of course, as the victor, I get to write the historical account of the battle.

New Shipments of ECW Books:
Over the holidays I received a number of ECW books at sometimes bargain prices via eBay and AbeBooks. These new library editions include:

Haythornthwaite, The English Civil War 1642-151 an Illustrated History

Wanklyn, Decisive Battles of the English Civil War (gift from my daughter!)

Atkin, Cromwell's Crowning Mercy, the Battle of Worcester, 1651

Sherwood, The Civil War in the Midlands 1642-1651

Foard, Naseby, The Decisive Campaign

Denton, Cromwell's Soldiers, The Moulding of the New Model Army 1644-1645

Atkin, The Civil War in Worcestershire

Clark, Marston Moor, English Civil War - July 1644

I have much reading to do!

18mm SYW Project: 

As mentioned above, I picked up the Old Glory order. In the order were Blue Moon packets of AWI Hessians (fusiliers and jagers) to be fielded as Prussians for my SYW project. The BM fusiliers are smaller than their Eureka Prussian counterparts but match closely with the size and heft of the Eureka Austrians. I bet when painted and fielded on the table, no difference will be noticeable.  Also in the order, were sample packs of Blue Moon British FIW infantry and Napoleonic French infantry.

2011 was a very productive year wrt the SYW project. As shown in the 03 JAN 2012 post, nearly 600 figures were painted last year. That brings the totals for the project thus far, to about 2100 figures and 18 guns. That's quite a sizable collection awaiting their initial baptism by fire. One goal for 2012 is to host a game and (finally) get these figures onto the gaming table. The project is approaching optimal scale but I could add more guns and bolster the Prussian OB. Nevertheless, the SYW project is likely 90% complete. Painting towards this project in 2012 should be greatly reduced. 

For books, I recently picked up copies of Summerfield's Austrian Seven Years War Infantry and Engineers and Dorn/Englemann's The Infantry Regiments of Frederick the Great, 1756-1763.

15mm Second War of Italian Independence Project: 

Resupply of Mirliton miniatures from CGM in Spain arrived just after Christmas. In addition to more Piedmont artillery, cavalry, and bersaglieri, I also ordered samples from Dermot's Napoleonic line of 18mm figures. In 2012, I would really enjoy getting this period onto the gaming table. I think I made the same statement last year too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monthly and Annual Painting Totals 2011

Scott, gave me one pack of BTD 28mm Germans in greatcoat several years' ago. BTD announced a 50% discount over the holidays on many of their figure lines so I took advantage of the sale. In anticipation of the delivery, I finally got these eight figures onto the painting table. Germans in greatcoat painted very quickly and I tried the "dip" method of using Minwax as a wash. I used a very light coating so the result is muted on the flesh.

28mm Ancients (2nd Punic War):
Two, 12 figure units of velites were completed in December. All figures are Renegade.

December was another good production month with 155 figures making it to completion. For the whole of 2011, I managed to paint about 1,500 figures across a wide assortment of scales.

Monthly Painting Tally for DEC 2011
Unit_Name Nation Era Scale Figure Cnt Equip Cnt
Line Regiment in Bicorn w/Mtd Cmd France Bonaparte in Italy and Switzerland 18mm 13
Line Regiment in Bicorn w/Mtd Cmd France Bonaparte in Italy and Switzerland 18mm 13
Scottish Regiment of Foote 3 Scotland English Civil War 30mm 27
Velites Rome Punic Wars 28mm 12
Velites Rome Punic Wars 28mm 12
Browne IR#36 Grenadier Bn Austria Seven Years War 18mm 8
Browne IR#36/1 w/mtd cmd Austria Seven Years War 18mm 23
Cuirassier Regiment #5/5 von Brandenburg Prussia Seven Years War 18mm 6
Dragoon Regiment #1/2 von Normann Prussia Seven Years War 18mm 6
Musketeer Regiment #25/1 w/mtd cmd Prussia Seven Years War 18mm 27
German Infantry in Greatcoats Germany WWII 28mm 8
Totals 155
Annual Painting Tally for 2011
Era Scale Type Figure Cnt Equip Cnt
American War of Independence 15mm Infantry 19
Bonaparte in Italy and Switzerland 18mm Infantry 78
English Civil War 30mm Infantry 54
Italian War of Independence 15mm Cavalry 12
Italian War of Independence 15mm Infantry 166
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Artillery 12 4
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Cavalry 12
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Command 10
Napoleonic Wars 15mm Infantry 82
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Cavalry 8
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Command 6
Napoleonic Wars 28mm Infantry 80
Punic Wars 28mm Cavalry 10
Punic Wars 28mm Infantry 96
Punic Wars 6mm Cavalry 12
Punic Wars 6mm Command 30
Punic Wars 6mm Infantry 212
Seven Years War 18mm Cavalry 108
Seven Years War 18mm Command 12
Seven Years War 18mm Infantry 455
WWII 15mm AFV 11
WWII 15mm Infantry 40
WWII 28mm Infantry 8
1522 15