Monday, December 30, 2013

Ski Troops in 15mm

For my long neglected and seemingly stalled WWII Narvik project, I wanted to add a few figures in an end-of-year painting push.  One deterrent to the project is that 15mm WWII troops lack the excitement needed to motivate me to get them into the long painting queue.  In their favor, however, is the benefit that they can be made table ready very quickly.  Since I needed a small project that could be slipped in between work on artillery limbers for the 1859 project, a few WWII figures would fit nicely.  To satisfy the need for something exotic or interesting, I pulled 16 Peter Pig ski troops from the The Lead Pile.  

While I hesitate to field two versions of Norwegian and German infantry on both foot and ski, my solution turned towards using these ski troops as markers.  Before, tracking mobility status was kept on a roster but in the heat of battle is often forgotten.  Now, a battalion on skis can be quickly identified by placing one of these ski markers next to the HQ stand.  For German markers, I'll use the infantry in helmet.  For the Norwegians; infantry in cap.

Having finished these ski troops, I plan more digging into the 15mm WWII box to see what else I could finish off in between larger painting tasks.  Perhaps, a few British mortars and crew?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Warrior Monks in 15mm

Off the painting table this afternoon is one stand of Peter Pig Warrior Monks for the Samurai Battles' project.  The monks were part of a Peter Pig order that Jake presented to me for Christmas.  Warrior monks have not featured in any of the Samurai Battles' scenarios gamed thus far, but they must have a useful purpose at some point.  Besides, they will break up the sea of Ashigaru on the battlefield.

Jake has a couple of units of monks so I figured I ought to have a unit or two to counter his.  It will be interesting to see if they claim any special attributes.  Also, this was a nice change from painting the more numerous Ashigaru and Samurai.  I believe I have enough monks to field one more stand. 

In an unrelated note, I met Kevin and one of his childhood buddies for a quick and impromptu game of Commands & Colors Napoleonics Sunday afternoon.  Having recently picked up the Austrian expansion, Kevin suggested a scenario featuring Austrians.  I chose Teugen-Hausen.  Commanding the Austrians, I was narrowly bettered by a 8-7 banner count.  The loss was decided by majority control of the first line of hills.  Losing the majority of hill hexes in the French portion of the turn, the Austrians were unable to either take out enough French or retake the heights in the bottom half of the turn.  Good game against a player not familiar with the system.  Kevin's classmate picked up the mechanisms of the game without issue and fought to a victory.  Very close match!

Patience is a Virtue

As many may surmise from my frequent displays of painted Black Tree Design figures, I really like their figure ranges.  I use figures from BTD for Ancients, Reconquista, and WWII.  Great figures and quick order turn-around.  As a bonus, BTD often offers frequent discounts.  Actually, the sales are constant with different ranges on discount with often 35-40% off.  Rarely during these sales are the cavalry on offer at these discounts.  Sometimes, however, BTD offers 50% discount on everything!  Knowing these marketing tendencies, our group patiently awaits these 50% sales to stock up.  

Well, BTD has announced an end of year 50% sale and Jake and I are jumping in to place a cavalry-heavy order for our Reconquista projects.  Scott used the sale as a test order for a new Trojan War project.  

Oh, did I mention FREE shipping too?  Wonderful deal!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Battle of Okehazama Fort Marune - 1560 - BatRep

Game 2 in the DEC 23 Samurai Battles' replays, Imagawa against Oda.  Imagawa's first objective on the approach march to Kyoto was a series of forts controlled by Oda.  After a failed attack on the fort, Imagawa withdrew from battle.  The Oda garrison followed up on the withdrawing attackers which led the garrison into a trap.  That's the setup.  Now for the game.  First player to five banners wins.
The battle begins with Imagawa (predominately red) forces holding strong wing positions with a weaker center.  Oda forces hold a more central position.
Initial deployment
Imagawa right wing
Imagawa battleline
Imagawa leads with the mounted Samurai in an attempt to make a pre-emptive strike against Oda foot Samurai on the left.  Oda Samurai are destroyed but Imagawa cavalry suffer heavy damage in the exchange.  Oda cavalry commit to supporting the Oda right.
Samurai strike
Oda Samurai destroyed
In turn, the damaged Imagawa cavalry are destroyed by Oda Samurai and Imagawa Ashigaru spear on the Imagawa left are damaged through missile fire.  On the Oda left, attacks against the hills are thwarted.  Oda foot take heavy casualties and are repulsed by both missile fire and hand-to-hand clashes.
Imagawa cavalry destroyed
The first repulse on the Oda left fails to dampen the commander's ardor.  Into battle the line advances for a second time.  In the clash, an Oda foot unit is destroyed.  
Oda foot advance into the hornet's nest
Heavy fighting
Battle for the Oda left
While the battle rages in the valley below, Imagawa forces on the heights watch the action from relative safety. 
Imagawa force on the heights
Oda forces gain ground in the center but not without sustaining heavy casualties.  The damage to the Oda line is too much.  Imagawa counterattacks!  First the damaged cavalry capitulate and then a damaged unit of foot is destroyed.  Launching one more assault against Oda foot results in the yellow Ashigaru being destroyed.

Oda army breaks and Imagawa is victorious!  Banner count 5-3.
Oda gain ground
Imagawa Victorious!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

28mm Reconquista Gallery

When I began the Reconquista project in July as a test for Impetvs, I did not envision that the project would expand as it did.  In the six months since July, a total of 31 Impetvs stands have been fielded (and counting).  To centralize and document the current state of the collection, a Gallery page has been created in the header tabs above.  

Matched against Jake's collection, two sizable armies can be arrayed for battle.  We managed to get a couple of games in with the figures as well.  What a fun and interesting project!  Plenty of unpainted lead remains for the painting table.

A small selection of my favorite units are:

All of the component stands in the collection can be viewed from the 28mm Reconquista Page.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

28mm Reconquista - African Spear

Before the household stirs to life this Christmas morning, I find time to post a quick painting update.  

My first dozen Artizan figures from The Moors range migrated from the painting table.  These figures are African spearmen.  The sculpting is exquisite especially in the facial detailing.  I would like a few more of these Artizan Moors.

With the Reconquista Project's stand count now consuming about a half dozen containers, one project to tackle over the holiday is to group photos of each unit into a Gallery.

Speaking of Galleries, I added the latest AWI British foot regiment to the 28mm AWI Gallery page.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2nd Battle of Azuki-zaka, 1548 - BatRep

After Saturday's game postponement, I struck out towards Moscow on Sunday morning for a day of Samurai Battles' gaming in 15mm with Jake.  Fog was thick up and back but the roads were mostly clear for the 190 mile round trip.  When I arrived, the battle line was drawn for the 2nd Battle of Azuki-zaki.  All I needed to do was unload my troops and deploy.  Following a tour around Jake's game room with stops at his recently completed display case handiwork and close scrutiny of his figures on display, we exchanged gifts and set about our business.

The Oda were arrayed for battle when I arrived so my troops would fight as the Imagawa.  Having set up my troops, we were ready to begin.  In this battle, first side to collect six banners wins.

In the initial deployment, the Imagawa have a lone archer unit out front of the battle line in woods.  Hills protect the left.  With the Imagawa battle line overlapping both flanks of the enemy, my first thought was to use the cover offered by the hills to outflank the enemy right.  If card draw allowed, I would also pursue an attack on the Oda left.  Oda held a more central position.  Could I launch a flanking maneuver before my center came under pressure?

As is often said, "The stage is set!"
Initial deployment
In  a recent post, I mentioned my notion of creating what I called "Unifying Banners" to allow easy identification of the differently clad troops.  With banners in place, I think this approach does lend a unifying attribute to the army.
Close up showing Unifying Banners
Birdseye view from the center
Ground level view of center
Moving first, Imagawa advances on the left and the right.  On the Imagawa right, Ashigaru spear advance across the gap between lines to close with Oda missile troops and prevent the enemy from firing.
Contact with Oda missile troops

In the center,  Oda advances his battle line and brings overpowering force against the Imagawa salient held by the archers.  My archers take heavy casualties but are able to retreat before being eliminated.  
Archers attacked
To counter Oda's central push, foot Samurai are brought up to apply pressure to the left of Oda's advance line.  After heavy fighting, my Samurai prevail in eliminating Ashigaru spear. 
Imagawa Samurai counterattack

Success but with heavy casualties
While clashes in the center expand, Imagawa positions for an attack on the right.
Imagawa right
Imagawa right center
Engaged in the center and up three banners to one, Imagawa fails to respond to a breakthrough by Oda mounted Samurai.

Oda casualties mount in the center
First, Oda mounted Samurai destroy an Imagawa foot unit in the center battle line and then plunge deep into the Imagawa rear.  Thinking it out of harm's way after the initial attack in the salient, the hapless archers are ridden down.  The leader attached commits Seppuku rather than retreat.
Oda Breakthrough

Imagawa archers destroyed
Continuing on, the Samurai hit Red Devil Ashigaru from behind.  Damaged, but not destroyed, the Imagawa spearmen fall back towards their own lines.
Oda Rampage continues

Close-up of Oda Samurai attack

Battle in center continues
Back on the Imagawa right, Imagawa spear push Oda missile troops back from the woods destroying one but not before Oda mounted Samurai clear out the center.  The Imagawa army is split in two!
Clash on the right

Imagawa army split!
At this point in the battle, banner count is knotted at 5:5.  This will be another nail-biting finish!  Imagawa must attack somewhere before the rampaging mounted Samurai, deep in the center, can get back into the fray.  Attacking from behind the cover of the hills on the Imagawa left, Imagawa mounted Samurai attack Oda positions on the hill.
Imagawa Samurai attack!
The combat for control of the hill continues long enough for the Oda Samurai to destroy one more Imagawa unit.  Before Oda Samurai could engage one more Imagawa unit, Imagawa's Samurai prevail in destroying the sixth Oda stand.

Victory for Imagawa!
The Last Stand

Thus ended Game One of Four.

It had been awhile since our last Samurai Battles contest.  After reacquainting ourselves to the rules and a few rulebook checks, the game proceeded smoothly. Great fun with a very dynamic game.  I felt the game momentum swung to each player at various points in the game making for wild gyrations in emotion.  First, you're losing then you're winning; only to return to the feeling of losing the battle once again.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Samurai With Spear

In anticipation of my scheduled, weekend game of Samurai Battles, off from the painting desk goes one more unit for the Samurai Battles' project.  The stand is fifteen Samurai strong and carries an assortment of banners.  Figures are Peter Pig.

With most stands having a variety of banners, it might be difficult to distinguish friend from foe.  Jake had a nifty solution which I mimic (see Jake's solution).  The solution consists of making a number of, what I will call, "unifying banners" and placing one on each stand.  
Unifying Banners
For my stands, I placed a color-coded receptacle (red-heavy, blue-medium, green-light) to quickly identify troop type.  Into this holder will go the unifying banner as shown below:
Now, even with different dress, stands from one faction can be identified easily on the battlefield.

If the weather improves, I'll make the 200 mile round trip trek to Moscow in the morning.  As added motivation, I also have a small Peter Pig resupply awaiting my arrival!