Friday, September 25, 2015

Sikhs for The Great Game

Remaining on the NWF, a 24 figure battalion-sized equivalent assembles off the painting desk.  Figures are Wargames Foundry irregular Sikhs from the Sikh Wars range (SK125).  The plan with these natives is to press them into service with the their potential Russian master to counter British incursions on the NWF.

Of course, they could also be fielded for either the British or Sikh army.  The possibilities for their employment are many.

Without a bit of control, a few Sikh or native units could expand beyond planned boundaries to encompass a Sikh Wars or Indian Mutiny project.  Tread lightly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cossack Artillery for The Great Game

Following closely on the heels of the Russian regulars are two Cossack guns (I suppose these would represent sections of two guns each) for service in the Russian Expeditionary Force.
Also of note; the Russian hussars, fielded earlier as single-based figures, are now mounted in pairs.  I recall Kevin's cavalry being larger than eight figures in strength so I need to add at least four more troopers to bring it up to twelve figures.
What is up next for the REF?  A battalion of natives, I think.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

GMT Games...Great Customer Service!

Yes, GMT Games provides great customer service.  On top of that efficient back office, the good folks at GMT take quality control to heart. 

When The Great Battles of Alexander Deluxe was printed, the die cut counters were not robust.  To compensate for the manufacturing lapse, GMT reprinted the counters and provided replacement counters for FREE.  Absolutely FREE including the shipping.
New countersheets
My copy of the game was not purchased from GMT but via a sale on eBay.  Would this offer apply to my purchase too?  I sent an email to GMT asking about the replacement counters.  The response was that my name would be placed on the list and I would be receiving the new counters.  No questions asked (well, besides my mailing address)!  A few weeks later a package containing the new counters arrived.  Beauties aren't they?

Kudos to GMT Games!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Russian Infantry for The Great Game

My plan to field the "occasional" Russian unit for the NWF, perhaps, requires an amendment.  After painting the first Russian battalion (see it here), I felt the urge to paint another.  I suppose, to paraphrase an old American potato chip commercial, "No one can paint just one!"

That is the situation in which I find myself.
Off the painting desk is a battalion of Russian infantry of 22 foot and one mounted officer.  Figures are from Wargames Foundry's excellent Crimean War range.
Getting back to the original goal of fielding a small force for use in some of Kevin's NWF games, my plan is to build a Russian expeditionary force for use during the period termed as "The Great Game" between Britain and Russia.  While several British and British-backed native battalions have crossed my painting desk, this Russian Expeditionary Force (REF) will comprise both Russian and native contingents.  Perhaps some Indian and Afghan irregular troops will show up to support the Russians?  Maybe Indian and Afghan regulars too?  Many possibilities to consider.    

Thursday, September 17, 2015

French 4th Hussars

In a change up from the trio of Renaissance units departing the painting table before, today an eight figure unit of French hussars musters off the painting desk.

These 28mm troopers are Front Rank and trot off as two squadrons of the 4th Hussar Regiment.  Red pelisse is an eye catcher.  

An interesting story in the painting of these hussars.  I grabbed eight troopers and eight horses from the box of French hussars, primed them and painted the horses.  In the next step each trooper was epoxied to his mount and set aside.  When I continued with painting each trooper, I noticed that one figure was not wearing a pelisse.  I figured it must be in campaign dress. Nope.  The trooper turned out to be a French chasseur lurking in the incorrect bin.  Since the figure was fastened securely to his already painted mount, the only remedy was to find the "Real" hussar in the bin and paint another horse and rider.  The bright side of this error and rework is that the next unit of chasseurs will have a one figure head start!   

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Italian Wars Mounted Crossbowmen

Continuing on with my tranche of Italians Wars figures are two, three figure stands of mounted crossbowmen mustering out from the painting desk.  Having not settled on a proper contingent to field for this project, I continue painting what motivates me.  What motivates me at present is relistening to the Great Courses lecture series on the Italian Renaissance.  Luckily, mounted crossbowmen are seen throughout the period and are present  in almost all of the army lists in Impetvs as CL cavalry.

Figures are Wargames Foundry from the Late Medieval range.  While smaller than their Early 16th Century Renaissance gendarmes, they will look fine on the gaming table.
As for the Great Italian Wars project, I am at a loss for the proper term for this conflict.  To generalize the entire period of Renaissance Italian warfare, is it to be referred to as the Great Italian Wars, Italian Wars, Great Wars of Italy, or something else?  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

ECW Battle of Southam - Impetvs

For the second Battle of Southam refight (see first Battle of Southam BatRep using OHW), the draft version of Basic Impetvs Baroque will be put to the test.  The forces are arrayed as in the first battle that used One-Hour Wargames (see Battle of Southam Setup and Scenario) with the same basic battle plan. 
Initial Deployment
The Parliamentarian Army under Lord Brooke gets the initiative and makes a general advance to begin the battle.  To counter the advance the Earl of Northampton brings forward both cavalry wings.  Counter battery fire is ineffective.
Parliament advances
Northampton grabs the initiative and launches the lead cavalry regiment of each wing into attacks upon the Parliamentarian horse.
Royalist cavalry wings charge
On the Royalist left, Carnarvon charges into the counter charging trotters who discharge their pistols upon contact with no effect.  In the clash, Carnarvon suffers one hit and fails his Cohesion Test falling back into Clarke.  Clarke is disordered in stopping the retreat of Carnarvon.

On the Royalist right, Middleton charges towards the Parliamentarian trotters.  The trotters counter charge discharging their pistols before drawing their swords.  The point blank fire from the Parly horse drop a number of Cavaliers from their saddles.  In the melee, the Cavaliers take more casualties and retreat back upon their supports. Northampton's horse is disordered in backstopping Middleton.  The battle is not opening well for the King.
Royalists recoil
Maintaining the initiative, Northampton rallies all of his cavalry from disorder while the gun opens up against Brooke's guns.  With great precision, the Royalists take one of the Roundhead guns out of action.

Despite the loss of the gun, Brooke's force continues its advance towards the Royalist line.  While Roundhead horse close to within pistol range to discharge their weapons, their fire is ineffective.  Hampden's Foot pours fire into Saville's Dragoons causing some damage.  

Wresting initiative from Northampton, Brooke presses on with heavy fire erupting along his battle line.  Countering the ineffectiveness of the pistol fire, the Parliamentarian musket fire is devastating.  Brooke's foot fires into Northampton's foot causing heavy casualties who now is teetering on elimination.  Hampden's foot unleashes a terrific volley into the dragoons and the outgunned dragons scatter.
Roundhead volleys erupt
View of battle from the left
Northampton's Foot rallies as both Royalist cavalry wings attack.  The lone Royalist gun near the bridge inflicts casualties upon Brooke's advancing foot regiment.

On the right, Middleton's horse obliques left to clear an unobstructed path to the Roundhead cavalry.  With Northampton, himself, leading the charge, his own horse regiment crashes into the opposition.  As the Cavaliers close, the trotters discharge their pistols to no effect.  Contact!
Northampton charges
In the melee, both combatants take casualties but the momentum of Northampton's horse forces the Roundhead horse back. Cavalier pursuit is limited and Northampton cannot catch the fleeing enemy horse. 
Roundhead horse retreat
On the Royalist left, Carnarvon and Clarke pull off a similar maneuver.  That is, Carnarvon obliques left to allow a clear passage of Clarke's fresh horse.  As Clarke closes, the trotters discharge their pistols, disordering the Cavaliers.  In the hand-to-hand clash, the disordered Royalists are repulsed by the steady trotters and fall back suffering heavy casualties.   
Clarke's Horse repulsed
With success on the right and a setback on the left, Northampton takes back the initiative.  Having eliminated one of Brooke's guns, the Royalist artillery shifts its target to Hampden's Foot. Under bombardment, Hampden takes moderate casualties and becomes disordered.

On the right wing, Northampton leads his regiment forward in pursuit of the trotters while Middleton wheels and launches an attack against Hampden's disordered foot.  Being disordered, the trotters cannot counter charge and are thus caught flat footed.  In the crash of man and beast, the trotters take heavy casualties and are thrown back in disorder.  The Roundhead horse is on the verge of scattering. 
Royalist double attack on the right
Not able to penetrate the pikes, Middleton's attack against Hampden comes to naught as both combatants are locked in combat searching for an opening to exploit. 
Middleton vs Hampden
On the Royalist left, Carnarvon attacks.  The trotters take heavy casualties and retreat back to the foot of the hill. With both Parliamentarian cavalry wings in retreat, the center is left exposed to flank attacks.
Carnarvon attacks
Carnarvon victorious on the left
In disarray, both Roundhead horse rally in place while the infantry in the center presses on.  Brooke's Foot with Brooke at the front, charges Northampton's Foot.  Barely clinging to the field even before the Roundhead charge, Northampton's Foot is scattered while Clarke's horse watches on (I should have had Clarke counter charge Brooke in support of Northampton).
Lord Brooke charges Northampton
Destruction of Northampton
In the continuing melee of Hampden vs Middleton in the center,  Hampden's Foot recoils back upon its supports taking casualties and disordering Holles' Foot.
Hampden falls back
Middleton pursues and contacts the weakening Hampden once again.  Still, Hampden remains firm as the Royalist horse search for an opening in the wall of pikes. 
Melee in the middle
With his position crumbling, Lord Brooke manages to hold the initiative.  While the trotters on the Roundhead left retreat to avoid destruction, the trotters on the right make a last ditch effort to stabilize the right.  Unable to counter charge due to disorder, Clarke's horse still succeeds in destroying the remnants of the Parliamentarian cavalry.  Brooke's Foot discharges a volley into Clarke's Horse causing heavy casualties.
Parliamentarian counter attacks
In the center, Hampden's Foot exchanges both ground and men for time as it falls back from Middleton's cavalry threat.  As Hampden falls back, Holles is ,likewise, pushed back and Royalist cavalry follow up to remain in contact.  Finally, Hampden has run out of men and is destroyed in the pursuit.
Hampden continues to give ground
The destruction of Hampden
While Northampton pursues the sole Roundhead cavalry, Middleton pushes on into Holles' disordered Foot regiment.
Lord Brooke's center weakens
The Thin Red Line
As Middleton close on Holles, Northampton's Horse charges the remaining Roundhead horse on the right.  Despite heavy casualties, the trotters choose not to be caught standing still and counter charge.  Unfortunately, with their ranks depleted, the trotters are no match for the Cavaliers and are ridden down.  
Royalist strike
The last clash
With the loss of the second cavalry regiment, Lord Brooke has exceeded his Total Demoralization Value and has lost the battle.

Victory for the King!

Another exciting contest!  Total elapsed game time was about one hour, similar to the duration of the OHW game.  Despite early setbacks on the Royalists' cavalry wings, the Royalists were eventually able to capitalize on their cavalry advantage to clear the flanks and threaten the center.  Roundhead cavalry put their pistoleer tactic to good use on more than one occasion but in the end, shock overcame firepower.  The subtle difference between the Royalist's having a musket to pike ratio of 1:1 vs the Parliamentarian ratio of 2:1 surfaced in play in both volley and melee.  These additional pieces of chrome add much to the feel of an ECW battle.  

To me, Basic Impetvs Baroque produced a much more tactically interesting contest than OHW but I will have more thoughts on those attributes in a later analysis.  One more ruleset to evaluate with this battle; that is my heavily amended Ironsides.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Italian Wars Gendarmes

Gendarmes 1
Following on the hoof steps of a command stand for the fledgling Great Italian Wars project, are two, five figure stands of mounted gendarmes for Impetvs mustering out from the painting desk.  Having five of these heavy "heavies" makes for a solid and weighty stand of figures.  When it is plunked down on the gaming table, you know it.  My little force is approaching a gameable size and could easily slip in as a self-contained faction in the next game.  
Gendarmes 2
Gendarmes 2
Gendarmes 1
Figures are Wargames Foundry. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Laboring on Labor Day (USA)

View of Idaho in the distance from Mt. Spokane
With temperatures in the low 60s F and intermittent rain showers, the last two days have been spent cycling indoors.  The Monday Labor Day holiday began much the same.  Twenty-five miles cycling indoors followed by a few household activities.  Heavy skies but no rain prompted me to take a chance on an afternoon ride.

Spokane has one of the Top 100 Climbs in the USA (#98 Mt Spokane) and having never tackled it, thought today might be a good day to try.  Cycling friends warned me that it is a challenging climb but the views are worth it.

While the "official" climb shown by the STRAVA profile is about 13 miles, the climb does not get interesting until reaching the Bear Creek Lodge at seven miles from the summit.  With road maintenance below the lodge, I would begin the climb at the lodge.
STRAVA elevation profile
Route topo view
Route satellite view
Elevation profile for Mt Spokane ride
Packing gear and bike onto the car, I headed north for the 15 mile drive up to Mt Spokane State Park.  Parking at Bear Creek Lodge, I unloaded the bike and began the climb.  Bang!  Immediately after clipping into the pedals and pulling out onto the road, a steep ramp needed negotiating.  The climb is seven miles to the summit with nary a flat spot.  Switchbacks criss-cross the mountain above the tree line.  Car traffic was light despite a holiday weekend.  I saw no other cyclist out on the road today.

From the lodge, I needed to drag my body and bike up 2,800 feet over seven miles to reach the 5,880 foot summit.  Average gradient is about 6% but some sections reach 12%.  Even with leaden skies, the views from the summit are pretty spectacular.  With 45F temperatures at the summit, it would be a chilly descent.  The descent was cold!  A very enjoyable training climb that I would tackle again.
View on the way up
View from summit
View from summit
View from summit
View from summit